The Houston Texans desperately needed to finally add a true No. 2 wide receiver to play alongside Andre Johnson and help the long-time star wideout out. The Texans delivered on this in the 2013 NFL Draft after releasing Kevin Walter earlier in the offseason, and the Texans selected Clemson Tigers star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins with the 27th pick.
Although Hopkins is often compared to Atlanta Falcons star Roddy White, Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak compared Hopkins to a former wide receiver in Rod Smith. Per the Texans official site, “ Kubiak said Hopkins reminds him a little bit of Johnson off the field and Denver Broncos great Rod Smith on the field.”
With the Denver Broncos, Rod Smith made three Pro Bowls and had eight seasons with over 1,000 receiving yards. Smith also snared 68 career touchdowns and had nine consecutive seasons with at least 70 receptions. He is one of the 25 greatest wide receivers in NFL history, and this is certainly high praise that Kubiak has lavished on Hopkins, even if he only said “a little bit”.
Hopkins was the second wide receiver to come off the board in the draft, and he has all the traits to be an impact No. 1 wide receiver in this league- he’s a great fit as a No. 2 for Houston. Hopkins has great body control, reliable hands, and he is a solid route-runner overall. He can do basically everything well and is a perfect fit for the Texans as the Z receiver. He had 1,405 receiving yards and 18 touchdown receptions for Clemson last season.
Kubiak saw what Rod Smith could do first hand in Denver, as Kubiak was the Broncos offensive coordinator. He said of Hopkins, “The thing that I like about him, he played big-time ball. I like his progression in his career, watching him get better each year as you go back and look at him statistically. Then, I like when the lights got really big, this guy got very competitive. LSU, the bowl game, stands out to me. He’s got a big, big upside; I think he’s still on the come. He really didn’t play in an offense that threw the ball a great deal.”
The Texans organization sounds excited to have DeAndre Hopkins, and head coach Gary Kubiak and General Manager Rick Smith certainly have good reasons to be happy to have Hopkins in Houston.
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