GVSU’s Charles Johnson anticipates NFL draft

GVL/Bo Anderson

Charles Johnson (4) fields a punt.

Bo Anderson

GVL/Bo Anderson Charles Johnson (4) fields a punt.

Bryce Derouin

After all the workouts, meetings, and interviews, 254 athletes will hear their name called at the 2013 NFL draft.

Former Grand Valley State University wide receiver Charles Johnson is just one of those athletes hoping to hear his name this weekend.

“I don’t know exactly where I can land with what team,” he said. “I heard I can go in the third round. That’s where we’re really shooting for me and my agent. They say I’m a mid-rounder, so like third to the fifth round.”

Johnson is coming off of two strong seasons as a Laker. In 2011 he caught 56 passes for 1,080 yards and 15 touchdowns. This past season, he recorded 72 receptions for 1,199 yards and hauled in 16 touchdowns.

However, Johnson has seen his stock rise after an impressive showing at the GVSU Pro Day.

The 6-foot-2, 215-pound receiver ran a 4.38 40-yard dash, recorded a 39 ½-inch vertical, and an 11-foot-1 broad jump.

Johnson’s 40-time would be tied for fourth among receivers who attended the NFL Scouting Combine. His vertical would have tied the best among receivers Marcus Davis of Virginia Tech, Justin Hunter of Tennessee, and Da’Rick Rogers of Tennessee Tech, and Johnson’s broad jump would have placed him second among receivers at the combine, behind Hunter of Tennessee.

“I knew I was gonna run fast because I was training hard,” Johnson said. “I had a lot of things on my plate that I wanted to get out just to prove to a lot of people who really underestimated me because I was a small school guy. I knew I was going to run fast. I knew as soon as I stepped up I was gonna run a 4.3. I felt good that day.”

After his stellar showing at the GVSU Pro Day, Johnson visited teams in Dallas, New England, Green Bay, Indianapolis, New Orleans, Arizona, Cincinnati, and the New York Jets. He worked out for the Patriots, Colts, Browns, and Bengals.

“It’s like everything you dream of as a little kid. I’ve done a lot of things that a lot of people wish they could do. I don’t take it for granted. I feel blessed.”

Doug Domann is representing Johnson as his agent, and after all the visits, Johnson still isn’t certain where he may be headed.

“Every team that I left, I always talked to my agent after I left. ‘Which team, is it Dallas or Green Bay? Which team is it?’ I always said the last team that I visited. I was like ‘Man this team likes me.’ It’s always cause it’s real fresh in my mind I just had left that team.

I seem to think that every team was very interested because they brought me on visits or worked me out. I really think the teams that have shown interest are really interested, so maybe one of those teams will give me a call this weekend.”

Johnson will watch the draft with his close friends and family at his home in Elsmere, KY on Friday. On Saturday, he plans to be joined by more friends to watch the draft and hopefully celebrate.

Johnson looks to be the first Laker drafted since current Dallas Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr was picked by the Kansas City Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2005 draft.

Round one of the draft will take place at 8 p.m. on Thursday. Rounds two and three will take place Friday at 6:30 p.m. and rounds four through seven will start at noon on Saturday.

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