Lost amidst the zaniness of the Houston Texans general manager-lessness, franchise tagging of phenom Jadeveon Clowney and the general lack of national level attention the Texans get as a norm is history in the making.
When you ask most people in the know who the greatest wide receiver in Houston history is, without hesitation most reply Andre Johnson. And, while that answer isn’t necessarily wrong, DeAndre “Nuk” Hopkins is almost silently making a case to usurp that crown.
Nothing about Hopkins’ fashion style is understated or low profile, but his persona, both on and off the field, projects a quiet confidence that doesn’t rely on brazen ego or attention grabs like so many elite receivers before him.
Without the Chad “Ocho Cinco” Johnson or Tyrell Owns antics, the Steve Smith outbursts, or the Odell Beckham Jr temper tantrums, Nuk is slowly but surely putting in the hard work that will most assuredly land him in the NFL Hall of Fame as a first ballot, top ten all-time wide out.
With 528 career receptions, DeAndre Hopkins is on pace to join the 1000-catches club in his 12th season, a feat only 14 players have managed to do in the century long history of the league. At the rate his catches are increasing each year, it’s not out of the realm of possibility for Nuk to do it in 10 seasons.
The fastest player to do it so far is former Indianapolis Colts receiver Marvin Harrison who broke the mark in 12 seasons.
Marvin Harrison did it with Peyton Manning calling the offensive shots and firing guided missiles into Harrison’s hands. Hopkins is doing it with a veritable who’s who of quarterbacks until Houston drafted their franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson.
And, with the arrival of Watson, you can expect an acceleration of Hopkin’s accomplishments. Like Manning and Harrison, both players will make the other look even better.
Last year, Deshaun Watson became the third player in NFL history with 4,000 pass yards and 500 rush yards in a season, joining Russell Wilson and Cam Newton, according to @ESPNStatsInfo.— Sarah Barshop (@sarahbarshop) July 23, 2019
Hailing from Clemson, a team head coach Dabo Swinney has turned into pro football wide receiver factory. In only 3 seasons, Hopkins managed to set just about every receiving record in Clemson history, amassing 206 catches for 3020 yards and 27 touchdowns. He still holds the single season touchdown record of 18. While Sammy Watkins came along and took some of the other records from Nuk, it may be a long time before anyone touches his records in Houston.
Among his other varied insane accomplishments:
First Team All ACC Top performer (2 time selection)
NFL All Pro (Second Team - 1 selection)
NFL All Pro (First Team - 2 selections)
NFL Pro Bowl (3 time selection)
NFL Top 100 Players List (3 time selection)
2018: 115 catches with 0 drops
While Odell and Antonio Brown and several other high profile receivers might grab more national headlines, rest assured Deandre Hopkins will be the one history proves to be the best wide receiver of the current era.
Based on recent history, it’s easy to predict Nuk will have over 100 catches again this year and while he may not be able to duplicate his zero drops season, we can also expect another Pro Bowl nomination and more quiet strength.
Here’s the prediction for 2019:
112 catches, 2 drops, 1512 yards and 14 touchdowns.
What do you think? Hit us with your predictions in the comments section.