With the 10th pick in the 7th round of the 2013 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers selected Grand Valley State wide receiver Charles Johnson. Johnson, the 216th overall draft pick and the 24th receiver selected in this year’s draft, has already been quite the journeyman before he was drafted by Green Bay. Johnson, who played collegiate football at three different schools and three different levels, will look to break into a Packer receiving group highlighted by veterans James Jones, Jordy Nelson, and breakout star Randall Cobb.
Johnson, who is 24 years old, began his collegiate career in 2007 at Division I-AA Eastern Kentucky in 2007. In 11 games with the Colonels, Johnson caught three passes for 63 yards before he was suspended from the program. As a result, Johnson transferred from Eastern Kentucky to Antelope Valley Community College in Lancaster, California. In one season with the Marauders, Johnson caught 24 passes for 231 yards and three touchdowns. After two years of college football, Johnson sat out for a year to help take care of his ailing father.
In 2010, Johnson returned to football, taking his talents to Division-II Grand Valley State. After redshirting in his first year in Township, Michigan, Johnson was sensational for the Lakers. In his final two seasons, Johnson caught 128 passes for 2,229 yards and 31 touchdowns. Johnson was a first-team all-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) selection, and a D2Football.com Honorable Mention All-American.
As a junior, Johnson was named Grand Valley State Offensive Skill Player of the Year. Johnson leaves Grand Valley State ranked 2nd, 4th, and 6th in catches, receiving yards, and touchdowns, respectively, in school history.
Johnson, who was not invited to the NFL Combine, reportedly ran a 4.38 40-yard dash and put up a 39.5” vertical jump at Grand Valley State’s pro day. At 6’2 and 215 pounds, the Packers obviously felt selecting Johnson was a low risk with a potentially high reward.
Johnson, who was one of two non-Division I receivers selected in the 2013 draft (Houston Texans picked Division I-AA, Jacksonville State wideout Alan Bonner in the 6th round), joins a growing class of former Grand Valley State Lakers in the NFL. Notable former Lakers currently in the league includes Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle Cameron Bradfield and Dallas Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr.
Last season, six wide receivers made the final 53-man roster in Green Bay. In training camp this upcoming July, Johnson will be competing against wideouts Jarrett Boykin, Jeremy Ross, Terrell Sinkfield, Sederrik Cunningham, Kevin Dorsey, Alex Gillett, Ty Walker, and Myles White.
Of Packers’ general manager Ted Thompson draft picks in the previous three offseasons, 21 of 25 of his draft choices are still on the Packers’ training camp roster. If he makes the cut, Johnson will don the number 17 green and gold jersey in Green Bay in 2013.
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