The years are piling up on Andre Johnson, who is no longer a spring chicken.
That’s why the Houston Texans went out during the 2013 NFL Draft and snagged DeAndre Hopkins, a promising young wide receiver who has already stirred up quite a bit of excitement since rookie minicamp.
Following an impressive showing in his first action with the Texans, Hopkins has already been penciled in across from Johnson as the other starting wide receiver in Houston. The position, however, is his to lose.
Heading into the 2013 campaign, there will be several young receivers vying for playing time. Lestar Jean, DeVier Posey (stil recovering from an Achilles tear) and Keshawn Martin all showed some promise in 2012, while the Texans are excited about 2013 sixth-round pick Alan Bonner. None of them are as physically gifted as Hopkins, but a big slip up from the rookie could force Houston to share his snaps.
Martin and Bonner will likely battle for the starting slot position, but Jean and Posey could push for playing time if Hopkins stumbles out of the gates. Chances are, though, that won’t be the case for the rookie.
Throughout the first bit of OTAs, Hopkins has been thrown into the fire with the first-team. By all reports, he’s thriving under the pressure and appears set to give Houston and quarterback Matt Schaub their first true No. 2 wide receiver in some time. Whether it’s making plays after the catch or hauling in highlight-reel grabs, Hopkins should have no trouble having an immediate impact as an integral part of the Texans’ air assault.
It won’t be long before Johnson decides to hang it up. In the meantime, the future Hall of Famer will be able to impart his NFL knowledge onto Hopkins, a bright young star who Texans head coach Gary Kubiak has already referred to as “special.”
The Texans got their guy at No. 27. It’s only a matter time before they begin to reap the rewards.