Birthday: September 9, 1983
There may not be a lot of bells and white smoke when it happens, but once an NFL team elects this Pope on draft day, there will be plenty for that team to celebrate. Leonard Pope is a matchup nightmare for any defensive coordinator and a dream for any offense that has him in their huddle.
Pope really came into his own midway through his sophomore season. In his last six regular season games in 2004, Pope caught five touchdown passes, including a pair against rival Florida. His encore in the Outback Bowl produced another three receptions for 65 yards.
With such an imposing 6’7" frame, Pope is a load to bring down after the catch, as evidenced by his 19.3-yard per reception average. Pope routinely drags defenders behind him, just as he did earlier this spring in the intrasquad scrimmage, towing defenders into the endzone on each of his two receptions. Those long arms, combined with an improving ability to adjust to a poorly thrown pass make him a massive target in the middle of the field.
Though he is only a junior, Pope failed to qualify after high school and spent a year at Hargrove Military Academy, a prep school, which casts some doubt on his intelligence. This becomes a factor when combined with the amount of time it took for Pope to really deliver on his potential last year. In his first 17 games at Georgia, Pope had just four receptions, battling cases of the dropsies, penalties, and poor route running.
Still, the experience at Hargrove seems to have made Pope a more disciplined learner and harder worker. While his head coach at Georgia may wish for him to improve his blocking and route running, Pope has already proven to be the kind of practice player and gametime playmaker that Texans coaches would love to have around.
(profile written by Keith Weiland)
Leonard Pope’s 2004 Stats G CTH YDS AVG TD 12 26 503 19.3 6 Leonard Pope Home