Bennie Joppru

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Bennie Joppru
Tight End
Drafted: Round 2, 41st overall
Height: 6′ 4″
Weight: 260
College: Michigan
Birthdate: January 5, 1980
NFL Comparison: Brent Jones

Strengths: Bennie Joppru, a good-hands tight end, was described as a “vacuum cleaner” by one scouting report. Wowed Houston scouts who worked him out at the Senior Bowl. Bennie had an outstanding week in Mobile showing better speed and blocking ability than anticipated.

He scored high on intelligence tests, is ambidextrous and is known as a hard worker. He improved each season at Michigan, capping his 2002 campaign with 53 receptions for 579 yards and five TDs.

Joppru has a well-sculpted body but is not considered ideal size for a tight end. Some have him projected more of an H-back size. Although some draft pubs listed his weight as much as 272 lbs, he was not even 260 at the Senior Bowl.

Areas of Concern: He lacks deep speed as a receiver and sometimes rounds off his cuts. While blocking is not his best skill, he shows improvement and a willingness to work.

2003 Expectations: Joppru may start immediately if the Texans don’t re-sign Billy Miller (RFA). He may actually get more use in blocking situations than Miller even if Miller returns, or could be used in two-TE or goal-line formations. If Bennie had some jets, he might have been first round material but the Texans like his size and pass-catching ability. David Carr has another weapon to look for with this pick.

profile by Bob Hulsey

YEAR G CAT YDS AVG TD 2002 13 53 579 10.9 5 2001 12 17 118 6.9 1 2000 12 11 52 4.7 0 1999 9 4 51 12.8 2 TOTALS 46 85 800 9.4 8

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