UDFA Analysis: P.J. Pope

Heading to training camp the only question about the Bears running back situation appears to be who will start and how will the carries be divided. Undrafted free agent P.J. Pope is hoping to sneak into the picture for a roster spot.

The three-year starter at Bowling Green was awarded All-Conference honors as a sophomore and junior. He started 34 of 47 games played, but appeared in just nine contests as a senior because of an ankle injury. His numbers suffered, as he carried 125 times for 436 yards and four touchdowns. Despite averaging just 3.5 yards per attempt in 2005, he still managed to average 5.2 yards per carry. His best season came as a junior, when he rushed for 1,098 yards with 15 touchdowns on 178 attempts, while catching 50 balls for 490 yards and six scores. Pope is the only player in Falcon history to rush for 3,000 yards and have a 1,000 yards receiving. He finished tied for third on the school list with 33 rushing touchdowns, while tying for second with 41 total scores. The 5-foot-9, 218-pound has 4.5 40 speed. In order for Pope to have a chance to make the roster one of the top three backs would either have to go down with an injury or be traded. With a tightly contested battle expected at fullback, it would be highly unlikely the team could afford to carry four running backs on the 53-man roster. Pope could be targeted for the practice squad because of his versatility as a ball carrier and threat in the passing game. TFY Draft Preview Scouting Report Positive: Nice-sized ball carrier who is best between the tackles. Displays good vision, finds the running lanes and has a burst. Sets up blocks, is aggressive and strong in his lower body. Solid receiver who makes the reception in stride. Negative: Not an elusive back who makes defenders miss. Lacks the speed to get around the corner. Analysis: A leader by example who has made football a priority, Pope offers potential as a special-teams player/fourth running back in the NFL.

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