Several UGA players selected on final day of draft

semerson@macon.comApril 28, 2012 

ATHENS -- Orson Charles and Brandon Boykin had to wait longer than expected, but eventually the Georgia standouts heard their name called in the NFL draft.

Ben Jones, a four-year starting center at Georgia, was the first Bulldogs player to be drafted Saturday, going with the fourth pick of the fourth round to Houston. But in quick order Charles (Cincinnati Bengals) and Boykin (Philadelphia) also were selected.

Charles, who skipped his senior year at Georgia, went much later than expected, possibly the result of his DUI arrest in March.

Charles rejoins A.J. Green, the star receiver who the Bengals picked fourth overall in the 2011 draft. But the Bengals already have a Pro Bowl tight end in Jermaine Gresham, so Charles will have to compete.

Charles said “a few” teams had asked him about his DUI arrest.

“I told them that it was a one-time event that will never happen again,” Charles said, according to a transcript posted on Bengals.com. “It was one of the worst things that has happened in my life. It was hard to explain to my little brother what I did and to tell my mother how sorry I was.”

Cincinnati has now picked seven Georgia players since 2004, including three in the past two drafts.

“We have a great relationship there with the coaching staff, obviously,” Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said. “I can call coach (Mark) Richt at any point. I think he’s very honest and frank with us about things.”

Boykin then 123rd overall, to the Eagles. Boykin appeared to have his stock hurt after incurring a leg injury in the Senior Bowl.

On the other hand, other Bulldogs went about where they were expected to go Saturday:

• By going 99th overall, Jones was at a good spot for a center, relative to where they usually get picked.

• Place-kicker Blair Walsh (sixth round, Minnesota) was able to overcome a rough senior season, when his field-goal percentage was a career-low 65 percent, and he missed some key kicks. But the Vikings chose to remember that Walsh hit 90 percent of his kicks as a sophomore and junior.

• Offensive tackle Justin Anderson went with the first pick in the seventh round to Indianapolis. Anderson had an injury-riddled career and moved from offense to defense and then back. So getting drafted had to be a form of redemption.

• Defensive end DeAngelo Tyson went later in the seventh round, selected by Baltimore with the 236th overall pick.

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