The Houston Texans have long been in need of a deep threat to accompany future Hall of Fame receiver Andre Johnson. The team addressed the need by using their 2013 first-round draft pick (27th overall) on WR DeAndre Hopkins.
Hopkins appeared to be the most NFL-ready WR prospect in this year’s draft class. The Texans, who have drafted defense-heavy classes in recent memory, surprised many by using their no. 1 on a playmaker and downfield threat such as Hopkins.
The move has already paid dividends early in the season, as Hopkins was named offensive Rookie of the Month for September on Thursday.
Hopkins is leading the league for receiving yards among rookies with 20 catches for 270 yards. While the numbers are impressive, what they don’t illustrate is the poise shown by the rookie early. Hopkins stepped in and proved huge in an overtime win over the Tennessee Titans, and looked prepared to have an impact on the Houston offense. He made a crucial overtime catch that could only be described as “circus-like”, and followed it up with the game-winning reception.
The Texans already run the ball well with the dual threat of RBs Arian Foster and Ben Tate, and the run will likely open up even more as teams will have to account for the rookie receiver.
The nation will get a look at Hopkins this Sunday, as the Texans head west to take on the San Francisco 49ers in prime time. Houston will need all the help they can get coming off a devastating loss to the Seattle Seahawks that included a blown 17-point lead.
If Hopkins continues to progress and play as well as he has early in the season, his presence will help the Texans to stretch the field and add another dimension to their already dynamic offense.