The Green Bay Packers’ rookie class has yet to practice in full pads, but less than two months removed from the 2013 NFL Draft, fourth-round pick Johnathan Franklin already seems poised to have a long, successful career.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist, a brain surgeon or the mayor of Los Angeles to figure out whether or not a guy “gets it.” And get it, Franklin does.
Growing up in south-central Los Angeles, ten of Franklin’s close acquaintances were shot in killed during his childhood, according to JSOnline.com. But Franklin beat the odds and went on to have a successful four-year run at UCLA.
After racking up over 2,000 total yards as a senior in 2012, Franklin expected to hear his name called early on draft day. But as the picks kept coming, Franklin kept waiting.
“It was a humbling experience for me,” Franklin said June 13 in an interview with Packers Talk Radio Network. “I was hearing probably late first round, early second round or perhaps third at the latest. On (Day 2) I had my family over, I had cameras there and I didn’t get drafted.”
Franklin’s draft-day fall wasn’t quite as dramatic as Aaron Rodgers’ in 2005; Rodgers was the last player in the green room after being mentioned as possible No. 1 overall pick, whereas Franklin watched the draft from L.A. But nonetheless, few foresaw Franklin dropping to the fourth round.