Can DeAndre Hopkins replace Andre Johnson?

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Apr 26, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans first round draft pick wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins poses for a picture with a jersey during a press conference at at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports


After Andre Johnson’s 31 year old season, the Texans began looking towards finding a future replacement. 2013 was the perfect season to draft a wide receiver because Johnson was only under contract for a couple more years and could benefit with a slightly reduced role. The veteran not only could help in the passing game at the end of his prime, but he also could teach and mentor a young receiver.

Initial scouting reports compared DeAndre Hopkins to Roddy White, but he “needed to bulk up to be a reliable starting outside receiver”. Other scouts felt that Hopkins’ stats were generated from a great offense with Tahj Boyd and Sammy Watkins, rather than from pure talent. His NFL combine results surely didn’t help shut up his skeptics.

He ran a 4.51 40-yard dash, which puts him into the bottom 29% of wide receivers. His cone drill time was even worse and put him into the bottom 2% of wide receivers. His jumping results weren’t great either, bottom 14% in the broad jump and 51% in the vertical.Clearly scouts had some concerns with his speed, ability to change direction, and leaping ability. 

However, Texans scouts didn’t only focus on the combine. They realized that his film was off the charts and he showed the ability to break away, change directions, and attack the ball at the high point. Some college stats for wide receivers are surprisingly correlated to NFL success.

It doesn’t matter if a player led the nation in a stat, but rather how much of the offense was revolved through him. Just like I mentioned in the previous slide, Hopkins equated for a bulk of the Clemson offense despite being surrounded by skill players Andre Ellington and Watkins.

As the draft neared, the Texans were almost certainly drafting a wide receiver. It eventually came down to Nuk, Cordarrelle Patterson, Justin Hunter, Robert Woods, and Aaron Dobson. Luckily, the Houston Texans selected DeAndre Hopkins with the 27th overall pick in the late first round. None of the other receivers drafted after DeAndre have done anything in the NFL so far. It is clear that DeAndre has already proven to be the best wide receiver in the class as Tavon Austin has busted in a horrid Rams offense.

Next: A Solid Beginning