Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins has nowhere to go but up in 2015. The third year man out of Clemson has already had a taste of limelight in an explosive season in 2014. As the Houston Texans look to make the push to become an elite offense, the wide receiver corps will remain a focus and Hopkins will captain the helm.
Bear Goggles On
The Texans drafted DeAndre in the first round of the 2013 draft and signed him to a four year contract that will leave him a free agent, come 2017. With 12 year veteran Andre Johnson gone for Indy, Hopkins will look to make this year and next, highlights for a hefty contract extension. New head coach Bill O’Brien seemed content with increasing the workload on Hopkins in 2014 by a 50% jump in catches.
Little Andre, as he was nicknamed in Houston, produced two touchdowns and 800+ yards on only 52 receptions his rookie year, one in which the team would finish 2-14 overall. He caught tremendous stride as the teams’ No. 2 wideout last year, racking up six touchdowns and 1200+ yards on just 76 catches. Hopkins was the light at the end of a very long tunnel for an offense that ranked 24th in the league in overall passing yards.
As Hopkins already led the team in reception yards in 2014, he’s been primed ideally for the role he is to assume in the waging war for the AFC South. The Texans will be facing teams both in and out of conference that are beefing up against the run, so another step forward in Hopkins’ accelerated progress could prove huge relief for the run dominant offense.
Houston ended 15th last season in red zone percentage. Hopefully by promoting DeAndre’s role and adding one more dynamic receiver, the team can improve to become as threatening through the air as they are on the ground. A scary thought for opposing defensive backs.
Everyone says it and it’s become true, now more than ever. The NFL is a passing league. If the Texans plan to dethrone the Colts next season, they will have to fuel the fire lit by their new receiving prodigy.