ATHENS, GA - NOVEMBER 5: Orson Charles #7 of the Georgia Bulldogs runs with a catch against Courtney Viney #7 of the New Mexico State Aggies at Sanford Stadium on November 5, 2011 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Junior Georgia Bulldogs tight end and John Mackey Award finalist Orson Charles will leave school early to enter the 2012 NFL Draft.
Georgia Bulldogs tight end Orson Charles is set to enter the 2012 NFL Draft, according to a report by Chris Low and Mark Schlabach of ESPN. The junior tight end was named a Walter Camp All-American after finishing the season with 45 receptions for 574 yards and 5 touchdowns. Charles was also a finalist for the John Mackey Award for the top tight end in the country.
"It's time to move on to the next part of my life," Charles told Joe Schad. "There is the injury risk. There is the ability to help my family. The time is right to chase my dream." Charles is expected to be a second day pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, going in the second or third round. "I just felt like I met the majority of all my goals. I felt like I have grown spiritually," Charles said during an afternoon news conference. "Like coach (Mark) Richt says, that is the first thing you have to do."
The 6-foot-3 240 pound tight end is rated as the second tight end in the draft by Mocking The Draft. Orson is seen as more of a receiving tight end more along the lines of New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez and New York Jets tight end Dustin Keller, using his speed and quickness to create matchup problems for defenses.
For more on the 2012 NFL Draft, visit SB Nation's Mocking The Draft.