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Packers see little risk in Johnson signing

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Rory Johnson of Mississippi was the nation's eighth-fastest linebacker coming out of college.

But because he was caught with marijuana in his system, NFL teams did not draft him this past weekend

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So by the time Sunday night came around, only the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions were interested and the Packers signed him.

Johnson said he failed a drug test at Hinds junior college and another test last year at Mississippi.

He left after his junior year and he insists he no longer smokes pot. Packers' general manager Ted Thompson said he did not see much risk in signing the 21-year-old Johnson.

He has a 38-inch vertical leap, and a 4.58 second time in the 40-yard dash. Johnson is not the only undrafted free agent the Packers signed who has a checkered past.

Linebacker Juwan Simpson of Alabama was arrested last summer for having marijuana and an unlicensed gun in his car.

Other Packer signees include quarterback Jerry Babb of Louisiana-Lafayette, fullback Ryan Powdrell of USC, defensive lineman Daniel Muir of Kent State, defensive end Larry Birdine of Oklahoma and offensive lineman Pat Murray of Truman State.

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