It seems more and more likely that the Texans will roll with a wide receiver in the first round. As I stated before, tackle and ILB needs are going to be forced back for various reasons. Wide Receivers, particularly the fringe first talent are all excellent and all possess real upside. I really want to go over DeAndre Hopkins, a receiver that is really impressive on tape and should be shooting up draft boards and I would be thrilled if he ends up in Houston. However as we all know the NFL 2013 Combine has begun and the physical measurements are in. Here are some quick notes:
DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson (6'1" 215lbs)
Hopkins had a positive measure in at the combine. He came in 15 pounds heavier and was 6'1" as advertised. The most impressive aspect though was his hand and arm size. Hopkins had the longest arms of all the receivers at 33.38"" and was tied with Keenan Allen for the thrid largest hands measuring in at 10.08" Hopkins was only behind 6'7 and 6'5 receivers in both categories. His exceptional length reflects what you can see on film. Anyway Hopkins is a great receiver option and is firmly the number three wide receiver prospect in this draft. He has a great frame as mentioned above. Great length and has arms and hands much larger than a man his size. He is reliable and consistent option with a high pedigree. His game is refined and well rounded. Hopkins is reliable with his catches and blocking that coaches love. His body control is second to none in the class with his ability to stay in bounds and maneuver the field and defenders. Has ability after the catch and as a deep threat.
Physical Composite: 26
Height: (5) 6’1
Weight: (5) 215lbs
Speed: (8) ?
Vertical: (4) ?
Broad Jump: (4) ?
I've actually bumped Hopkins 1.5 points because his length pushed his height factor to a five overall vs 4.5. and he came in much bigger than expected. His weight is not a concern either, Hopkins has the great frame to support the extra muscle and looks to be in his optimal shape. His speed will probably come in the 4.5 range maybe high 4.4 (you never know though) and I'm assuming he meets the base lines for both leaping tests. Hopkins has solid physical attributes and I really like that he added the right amount of weight to get to the optimal size to support his long arms and large hands.
Film Composite: 65
Route Running: 22.5
Release: 5.5 (1:08, 1:13, 1:45) (These are particularly important as Hopkins squares off against Richard Sherman clone Xavier Rhodes renowned for press coverage)
Fluidity: 5.5 (:19, 3:13, 8:58, 11:13)
Play Recognition: 5.5 (:19, 1:32, 4:10,11:03)
Breaks: 6 (1:32, 2:09, 2:48, 3:13, 4:10, 6:06, 8:58, 9:46, 11:13)
Hopkins is master route runner particularly explosive in and out of breaks. He is a refined route runner and possesses a good release to beat corners off the ball and avoid re-routes in the open field. His fluidity and ability to get down the field in a hurry are excellent. His hands are always up and he has little wasted motion and is extremely fluid down field. His ability to slide between corners and safeties in cover 2, exploit seams in cover 3 and slide between linebackers and safeties in zone coverage are excellent and he has great play recognition to take advantage of zone coverage and leverages in man coverage. His breaks are precise and sharp. Hopkin's is explosive and loose on his breaks and has a great double move. Hopkins is a refined route runner who can run the whole route tree effortlessly and possesses the ability to get off the line, get down field, recognize the coverage and create space off his breaks.
Mechanic: (1:02, 1:32, 1:15, 5:56, 6:41, 9:57)
Hopkins is a consistent and reliable target. His ability to snag the ball out of the air with his hands is extremely refined. He very rarely drops balls. His mechanic and ability to fight the ball away from defenders is excellent and he is a plus catcher in jump ball and diving ball situations.
Body Control: 5 (10:24 Yes he was in bounds, 11:24)
Please if you watch any of the time stamps watch these. His ability to stay in bounds is excellent and he was widely regarded as having the best body control in the nation. His ability to stay inbounds and plant is unreal.
Great blocker, comes out of a run oriented system. Needs some technique refinement, particularly getting his feet moving. Once his feet go still you can't react to countermoves. Possesses good size and is a willing blocker
Play Making Ability: 23
Deep Threat Ability: 9 (3:02, 6:53, 7:32, 9:13, 10:05, 11:13)
Red Zone Presence: 6.5
YAC: 7.5 (:54, 5:30, 6:06)
Hopkins is a play maker. His deep threat ability was some of the best I've seen. He has a knack for getting defenders off balance and finishing plays deep. He maneuvers safeties away from his routes with ability to exploit leverages and throws corners off balance with his blend of speed and agility. His YAC Potential is good he has a good stick to maneuver through traffic but he is better matched up far downfield. Doesn't possess that sixth sense that Robert Woods and Cordarrelle Patterson have in heavy traffic.
Hopkins is currently rated as my number three receiver but I could see him over take Patterson or Allen if there are any slip ups. Hopkins is supremely able and well rounded. A great route runner, Hopkins greatest ability is his amazing control of his body and ability to throw defenders off balance. He has a great frame with length much greater than a player his height and a strong frame. His ability to fight for balls and mechanic to make every catch is extremely refined. His blocking needs work but the size and willingness are there. Hopkins ability as a deep threat are probably some of the best in the class. Only Patterson's YAC ability exceeds Hopkins' ability as a deep threat. If Hopkins is available at the 27th overall pick I would be ecstatic. He is the most refined receiver in the draft.