Grand Valley State product could be real steal
In my last two blog entries, I have listed draft sleepers at the QB and RB positions. With the big day coming up tomorrow, there is one more position I want to pick a deep sleeper at, and that is at wide receiver.
Although it's rarer that an undrafted WR or one selected in the last couple of rounds pans out to be good (at least right away), there are some exceptions and we could definitely see one from this WR class. I recently went over my top prospects at WR for the 2013 NFL draft. And I believe those are the top guys. But what I am doing here is trying to identify what player at the position isn't getting a lot of buzz. A player that isn't getting the hype generated by the popular media and isn't ranked highly on the draft boards of the experts.
At WR, that guy who could really surprise as a late round steal is Grand Valley State's Charles Johnson.
(Waiting to hear the frogs croaking…)
Yes, I said Charles Johnson from Grand Valley State. Sure he wasn't invited to the NFL scouting combine, and he played at a very small school, but you would know about this kid if not for off-field issues that forced him to play at a small school level. Those issues are reportedly behind him, and if they are, this guy is going to make some NFL GM look genius in rounds 6 or 7.
Johnson hasn't generated much buzz except for a pro day workout that included him running the 40 in 4.36 seconds, a vertical jump of 39.5 inches, and broad jump reaching 11'1". Those are numbers that would have placed him amongst the best at the WR position at the scouting combine. Johnson measures in at 6'2", 215 lbs, showing he has plenty of size for the position. He dominated at NCAA Division II level with 128 receptions, 2,229 yards, and 31 TD's the last 2 seasons combined.
Very quietly, Johnson has had visits with nearly a dozen teams. While teams host players all the time, it's well known that the lesser known players who have some past baggage can creep into rounds higher than projected by making a good impression on a team. Johnson's skill set is excellent and while as little as 1 month ago he was expected to be maybe a 6th or 7th round pick (if drafted at all), he could be selected as high as the 3rd or 4th round by a WR needy team that was either impressed with him in an interview, or is willing to assume the risk associated with Johnson. All it takes is one team to really like a player for him to get drafted higher than is expected.
For example, is it so far out of the realm of possibility that a team like the New England Patriots could surprise us by taking him near the end of round 3 before teams shuffle their draft boards again after the second night of the draft? I doubt if Johnson goes that high, but you never know. And while I am just speculating, wouldn't it make a nice fit both for the NFL team and the world of fantasy football if Johnson did end up in New England?