Every season, every team, there is a player who comes out of no where to surprise the football world. Whether its a rookie or an overlooked veteran, these players end up having a huge impact on their team's success. For the Houston Texans this season, look no further than rookie wide reciever DeAndre Hopkins.
Hopkins played three season at Clemson University, before foregoing his senior season to enter the 2013 NFL Draft. As a junior, Hopkins was statistically one of the best wide receivers in the nation as he tallied 82 receptions for 1,405 yards and 18 touchdowns. His prolific season led to him being drafted 27th overall in this years draft ans signing a four-year, $7.6 million deal.
Hopkins was drafted by the Texans in order to be a dangerous second reciever to compliment All-Pro Andre Johnson. Even though Andre Johnson is one of the best wide recievers in the league, the Texans have struggled to find a formidable second options at times when defenses decide to lock down Johnson in double coverage. With an electric talent like Hopkins on the other side of the field, it will open up the passing game significantly for quarterback Matt Schaub.
In his first chance to shine during the Texans preseason game against the Vikings, Hopkins recorded 4 receptions for 52 yards, including a highlight-reel 34-yard touchdown. He impressed coaches and embarassed opposing defensive backs, all while doing everything he can to secure the #2 reciever spot on the roster.
In addition to the extensive skill set that Hopkins provides, he is being put into a great situation in Houston. He will have the opportunity to get major playing time right away, and the opportunity to be targeted a lot as teams focus their attention on Andre Johnson. Hopkins will also succeed because he has the speed and agility to be a deep threat, but also the strength and strong hands to effective over the middle of the field.
Prediction: Hopkins and Johnson will be one of the best 1-2 wide reciever combinations in the NFL this season. Hopkins will win offensive rookie of the year as he puts up roughly 60 catches, 750 yards, and 5 touchdowns.