Despite the beads of sweat beginning to form on the brow of the average Houston Texans fan, first-round draft selection DeAndre Hopkins will be at training camp on time. His rookie deal is for $7.626 million to be paid out over four years.
With a signing bonus of $3.926 million and the first three years of the contract guaranteed, Hopkins comes with high expectations.
A standout at Clemson University, Hopkins is the first wide receiver the franchise has taken in the first round of the draft since Andre Johnson a decade earlier. With 18 touchdowns for the Tigers in 2012, he joins a team that struggled capitalizing in the red zone the latter half of last season.
Reports are already flying in that Hopkins has been named the starter opposite Johnson in day one at training camp and, unless something just crazy happens, this has been the plan since he was available when the Texans went on the clock back in April.
It’s a lot to ask a rookie wide receiver to start day one in this league, but when you are scouted as the most NFL–ready pass catcher in the draft, these things come as expected.
It’s hard to imagine any scenario in which Hopkins doesn’t improve the Houston offense. As long as Johnson is able to stay on the field and perform as he did in 2012, a major weakness on the Houston offense may have just become a strength.
For all of the gripes around town about who the team employs at quarterback, all the team can do is surround him with pieces to help him overcome those shortcomings. Hopkins is certainly a step in that direction.
Houston has never had much of a problem getting all of their draft picks signed prior to camp. Deals for safety D.J. Swearinger and tackle Brennan Williams, the only unsigned players up to this point, were just agreed to as well. Terms have yet to be disclosed.
Mike Kerns is a Houston Texans writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter, “Like” his page on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also subscribe to his Texans podcast on iTunes.