Georgia's Johnson relaxes after NFL Combine

ATHENS – While friends and former teammates worked, worried and wondered all afternoon Tuesday, Charles Johnson shook hands and kissed babies.

Or, at least, that was the equivalent of his day. More than a dozen former Georgia players put on a show for pro scouts during the team's annual Pro Day on its practice fields, and most of them spent more than two hours running, jumping, lifting weights and going through position drills trying to impress the NFL talent evaluators.

Charles Johnson, the defensive end who left the Bulldogs after his junior year, ran two 40-yard dashes, a total of fewer than 11 seconds of work, and called it a day after slightly pulling his right hamstring. It was a luxury the former Hawkinsville star can afford after his impressive showing at the NFL Combine last month.

The Combine "really took a lot of pressure off so when you come back the second time you're more trying to improve instead of having more pressure, like I have to do this, I have to do that," said Johnson.

The 272-pounder improved on his 4.8 40-yard dash time from the Combine with a run that was timed anywhere from between 4.67 and 4.69 by the more than 30 pro scouts in attendance, said his agent, Richard Kopelman. Johnson pulled up just before finishing his second run.

"That would have been a low 4.6, maybe a high 4.5, if he hadn't pulled up there at the end," said Kopelman, the president of Klass Sports in Atlanta. Johnson's hamstring is "tweaked more than anything. Give him a few days and he'll be fine."

Johnson is expected to be the first Bulldog selected in April's NFL Draft. ESPN analyst Todd McShay projects he will go in the first round, No. 29 overall to the Baltimore Ravens. has Johnson being selected No. 48 overall (second round) by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Kopelman thinks his client will go higher than both of those projections.

"The No. 13 pick is St. Louis, and it's no secret St. Louis likes him," Kopelman said. "We've talked to other folks who say he won't be around when they pick, and they pick in the top 10."

The Atlanta Falcons, who have the No. 10 selection, had a scout and their defensive line coach at Tuesday's event.

"Certainly, Atlanta at 10 would be a great fit," Kopelman said. "We'd love to see that, and I'm sure a lot of people in Georgia would."

ESPN's Mel Kiper ranks Johnson the fifth-best defensive end in the draft but not a first round selection. At the combine, Johnson bench pressed 225 pounds 33 times (second best among defensive linemen), broad jumped nine feet, 11 inches and had a vertical jump of 34 inches.

"I really hope I get drafted, you know what I'm saying," Johnson said. "Wherever I get picked is fine with me."

Fellow defensive end Quentin Moses, defensive tackle Ray Gant, tight end Martrez Milner, running back Danny Ware, linebackers Tony Taylor, Jarvis Jackson and Danny Verdun Wheeler, offensive linemen Nick Jones, Ken Shackleford, Daniel Inman and Michael Turner, safety Tra Battle, wide receiver Mario Raley and punter Gordon Ely-Kelso also worked out for scouts.

Of that group, Ware might have had the best day. He ran 4.62 in the 40-yard dash (a time he characterized as "OK"), had a UGA-best broad jump of 10 feet, one-half inch, bench pressed 225 pounds 25 times and had a vertical jump of 35 inches.

"I have everything to prove, especially coming out early," said Ware, who left despite rushing for just 326 yards last season. "I don't really have as much film as I should have. I just made a decision and stuck with it, and it's been OK so far. I think the (NFL) teams know that just because I came out early doesn't mean I was running from a situation or anything. It was just my time."

While Johnson waits for good news, Moses still is trying to regain the momentum he had last offseason, when he decided not to leave early and return to the Bulldogs. The decision may end up costing him several million dollars due to lost draft position.

He ran the 40-yard dash and participated in linebacker drills Tuesday, improving his sprint time by running a 4.75. Moses is rated the draft's 11th-best defensive end by Kiper, who ranked Moses the top junior in the country at the position last year.

"Everything contributes to help you or hurt you but at the end of the day, when you put the film on, hopefully it'll be good," Moses said. "Whatever may happen, I'm just happy to be in this situation and have the opportunity to play at the next level."

With more than a month until the draft, Moses hopes to boost his stock by holding individual workouts for several teams.

"Everybody has an opinion right now," Kopelman said. "I tell people it's kind of like preseason rankings. It's hard to say. We'll look at it on April 28, and I'll let you know."

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