The Houston Texans have been one of those teams over the past couple of years that many believe are so close to getting to the Super Bowl, but have been missing one or two pieces to get them over that hump. This season, Houston may have found one of those guys.
The Texans went out and selected DeAndre Hopkins, wide receiver out of Clemson, with their first-round pick in this year’s NFL Draft. The kid has done nothing but impress thus far in his young career.
Throughout training camp, coaches have loved Hopkins’ athletic ability. He can jump — boy, can he jump. He has some of the more sure hands we’ve seen out of rookie receivers recently, thus looking NFL-ready as we speak.
“It’s very early, but he has had probably as good a camp as it can get for any young player, and it carried over tonight,” Texans coach Gary Kubiak said according to ESPN.. “It’s good to see that as he gets more comfortable with what we’re doing, the more plays he is going to make.”
Against the Minnesota Vikings in the Texans’ preseason opener on Friday, Hopkins caught four passes for 52 yards. None was more impressive, though, than his leaping 34-yard score when he went up and picked the ball out of the air over Vikings’ corner Bobby Fielder.
“I have to give all of the thanks to my quarterback. He put it where it needed to be, and I came down with the play,” Hopkins said.
Hopkins is saying and doing all of the right things in order to not only get noticed early on, but to contribute a significant amount. Opposite of Andre Johnson, Hopkins could give the Texans a legitimate 1-2 punch at wide receiver for the upcoming season.
Taking pressure off of Johnson will make that offense even more explosive, giving the two of them more man coverage as the season goes on. With pressure distributed more evenly and Arian Foster running the ball, Hopkins truly could be that one guy that the Texans needed to lift themselves up onto the biggest stage in sports — the Super Bowl.