Arizona on Pope

Last weekend tight end Leonard Pope was taken in the 3rd round of the NFL Draft. Pope left after his junior season at Georgia and was selected by the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals are a much improved team and should be in the hunt for a NFC West title next season. I recently talked to Fox Sports Net Cardinal Insider and XTRA 910-AM Phoenix sports talk show host Mike Jurecki and asked him what is the reaction of Arizona getting the latest Bulldog tight end to hit the NFL.


Dave McMahon -- Many of the Bulldog fans here expected Leonard Pope to go in the 2nd round of the NFL Draft... Do you think the Cardinals got a steal selecting Pope in the 3rd round?

Mike Jurecki -- Yes... The Cardinals had him high on the draft board. They didn't expect him to still be there in the 3rd round.

DM -- What kind of player do the Cardinals expect out of Pope?

MJ -- They expect him to contribute right away. Not to be an impact player, but to contribute. He will be asked to be in many situations in the Cardinals offense.

DM -- What situations?

MJ -- They like his size especially in redzone situations. The Cardinals also expect to run a 2 tight end formation this season around 25% of the time, and he would be used primarily as the blocking tight end in those situations.

DM -- Anything they expect him to work on?

MJ -- He needs to get stronger and his biggest flaw is that he left after his junior season and he is not polished as much as he can be.

DM -- What other tight ends do the Cardinals have on their roster?

MJ -- Eric Edwards from LSU caught some passes last year... Adam Bergen also caught some... John Bronson who was on IR last year... and we also signed Andy Stokes who was the 2005 "Mr. Irrelevant" when the Patriots got him.

DM -- The Cardinals have Kurt Warner at quarterback, in the future they plan on using Matt Leinart, they have Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald at wide receivers, Edgerrin James at running back and now Leonard Pope... on paper this could be the NFL's best offense... do you agree?

MJ -- I think so... all of them are great and except for Warner are so young. I think Pope has great upside and will contribute to this offense. The only question is will the offensive line give the quarterbacks enough time and the running backs big enough holes to run.

DM -- Thank you for your time and insights.

MJ -- No problem... and I will let you know how Pope progresses during mini-camp.

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