UNM's Hart-Johnson patient, ready for any draft scenario - Albuquerque Journal

UNM’s Hart-Johnson patient, ready for any draft scenario

New Mexico receiver Delane Hart-Johnson. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal file)

During the past four months, Delane Hart-Johnson said he has learned a great deal about patience.

He knows he’ll need to use that for a bit longer as the NFL Draft begins today. The former University of New Mexico wide receiver is hoping for a call to come from an NFL team about being selected, yet he believes it won’t come until Saturday. He said his chances of being drafted are “high.”

A physical receiver at 6-foot-3, 219 pounds, Hart-Johnson has been garnering interest from at least six teams, including the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, as well as the San Francisco 49ers, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Balitmore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars. Hart-Johnson, who is in his hometown of Philadelphia, said he fielded calls from those teams on Wednesday.

“It’s getting exciting as the days go on, to be one step closer to be able to play in the NFL,” Hart-Johnson said. “I’ll be nervous at first if I go to a certain team. But that’s part of the game. I have played football all my life. Once I get into the system, once I get everything down I’ll be fine.”

Hart-Johnson, who led the Lobos with 35 catches for 507 yards and five touchdowns last season, chose to skip the UNM Pro Day on March 8, instead showcasing his skills at the Delaware Pro Day on March 22. That was mainly because that event included standout Delaware defensive back Nasir Adderley.

Hart-Johnson’s time in the 40 won’t put him among the elite of the draft prospects. He said he ran a 4.60. He said he had a vertical of 33 inches, broad jump of 10 feet, 1 inch and he bench-pressed 225 pounds 14 times.

“I’m definitely going to bring physicality,” Hart-Johnson said of his game. “I’m just going to make plays.”

Of all the teams that have been checking in with Hart-Johnson, he said he hasn’t heard from the Denver Broncos. That would be quite the story if he were to end up with them. Hart-Johnson’s brother, Will Parks, is a defensive back for the Broncos.

Hart-Johnson says he’ll be ready regardless what takes place over the next three days, even if he does not hear his name called. The listing of draft prospects at NFL.com does not include anyone from UNM.

“We have our fingers crossed,” Lobos coach Bob Davie said. “I do think we got some good guys that, if they don’t get drafted, they’re still going to have some opportunities to maybe further their careers and live out their dream.”

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