I don’t believe DeAndre Hopkins is the best receiver in football. Skill-wise, maybe, but the athleticism isn’t on quite the same level as Julio Jones and Antonio Brown. Still, Hopkins is like 1C, with Jones and Brown being 1B and 1A.
Arian Foster disagrees with me. The former Texans great believes DeAndre Hopkins is the best wide receiver in the NFL right now:
“That’s my guy. I hope he becomes the greatest receiver ever. I think he’s currently the best receiver in the NFL. That’s my personal opinion. Everybody has a different flavor. Some people say Antonio Brown or Julio Jones. I say it’s Hop.”
John Perry, the Houston Texans’ wide receiver coach, also had glowing comments about Hopkins’ ability as a professional athlete and his work ethic.
“The thing with DeAndre is he’s very easy to coach because he’s such a competitor. One of the things is now in my fourth year, going into my fifth year here in the league is that you start to see that here’s a guy that’s looking for challenges on a daily basis.”
“You go through the draft process and you watch ESPN and they put this guy and compare him to DeAndre Hopkins, and you just know D-Hop’s a special guy because of his competitive nature, his work ethic. This is my second spring with him and again, he doesn’t miss any reps. Here we are in June and he’s working as hard as if he’s getting ready for the first game of the season, and that’s what makes him a different guy.”
Despite my own personal feelings and what Foster says, nobody really knows what Hopkins is capable of. The best quarterback he’s played with is Deshaun Watson, and Watson started just six games last year. With an entire season of Watson under center, who knows what Hopkins can do? He’ll either make everyone else with my opinion wrong and end this idea that Hopkins is underrated because of the quarterbacks he’s played with, or the reverse will happen, and the murkiness of what could be will disappear.
For now, it’s a hypothetical. Hopefully Deshaun Watson plays an entire season so this question can be answered.