The Houston Texans have very high expectations for rookie first round draft pick DeAndre Hopkins. In fact, the Texans plan to make him a starting wide receiver right beside veteran Andre Johnson. How well the 21-year-old is able to handle the role will have a huge impact on how far the team goes in 2013.
Hopkins stepped up his game tremendously in his third season at Clemson. He hauled in 82 receptions for 1,405 yards and a whopping 18 touchdowns, which was good for second in all of college football behind only Stedman Bailey (25 touchdowns). Houston is hoping that Hopkins will be able to raise his game even further in his rookie season in the NFL.
One thing for sure is that Texans wide receivers coach Larry Kirksey believes the possibilities are endless for Hopkins as he has the potential to reach the same level as Johnson.
“I just think the kid’s a very talented young man,” Kirksey said, according to HoustonTexans.com. “He’s got good size, good range, and outstanding ball skills. He works. From day one, every pass he caught he sprinted not 10, not 20, 30 but 40, 50 yards down the field after the catch. That’s what we ask for in our receivers. I think he’s off to a great start from that standpoint.”
It is certainly a lot to ask of Hopkins to step up right away and be a dominant starter. However, this is what happens when a team is on the cusp of making a Super Bowl appearance. Rookies are required to have an immediate impact and help the team in any way they can. Hopefully, Hopkins can accomplish that and then some.