NFL Draft 2013OpinionRumorsSpeculation

Draft Target: DeAndre Hopkins

[Note:  Want to see a list of every player featured in our “Draft Target” segment?  Click here to visit the Offseason Tracker where there will be a list of all these players.  Check back often as there are plenty more to come!]

With Keenan Allen now reportedly planning to be absent for California’s pro day because of a lingering knee issue, I have been advised by a number of our great Twitter followers that the first-round-receiver bandwagon is now full of DeAndre Hopkins advocates.  Of course I planned on featuring Hopkins in this reoccurring segment at some point, but those Twitter conversations convinced me that tonight should be the night.

Hopkins is 6′ 1″ tall and weighs 214 pounds and displayed great speed and hands during his time at Clemson.  He ran the forty in the 4.50 to 4.57 range at both the Combine and his pro day (which was Thursday) which only confirms he has the speed it takes to be a top receiver in the NFL.  His big hands and long wingspan only add to the traits Hopkins possesses that will attract plenty of attention.

Hopkins is known as a receiver that runs very precise routes and displays solid instincts after making the catch, with the ability to make the most of every pass heading his way.  He takes good care of the football, protecting it to prevent turnovers, while also showing incredible body control which allows him to make tough catches on jump balls or near the sideline.  His presence of mind, combined with a very good vertical leap, makes him a genuine red zone threat.

Hopkins has had troubles with catching the football with his body throughout his college years, but any scout is also going to have to give him credit for improving as a hands catcher over time.  This shows that he works to improve himself and is a coachable young man.

More worrisome, to me, is that he seems to be manhandled by defensive backs too often and is rerouted too easily.  He may need to bulk up a bit in the NFL, which could cost him some speed, but he also needs to improve aspects of his fundamentals to make sure he isn’t consistently jammed at the line by bigger defensive backs.  The coachability that I mentioned earlier, however, provides hope that Hopkins could improve his technique in this area over time.

Hopkins doesn’t really have any injury history or character issues that plague him as he enters the NFL, and actually has gained quite the reputation as a leader within Clemson’s offense.  He’s the type of guy that is going to haul in that deep over-the-shoulder ball, make the occasional toe tapper on the sideline, and be a constant threat when the game is on the line.

Most seem to project Hopkins as a second round talent, like so many other receivers in this class, but the lack of red flags makes it very possible that he sneaks into the first round.  A number of teams, like the Vikings, could end up feeling very comfortable investing their top pick in Hopkins.


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Adam Warwas

Adam Warwas (Founder) has been writing about the Vikings for a total of eight years. Five of those years have been here at Vikings Territory where he continues to surround himself with enough talented individuals that people keep coming back. As proud as he is of what Vikings Territory has become, his real treasures are in his home... a beautiful wife and three amazing children (and a dog named Percy).

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  1. I still have that gut feeling that he will end up the best of this years bunch. He reminds me a bit of Sidney Rice coming out of college, not as tall but great hands and room to add some more muscle. I really wouldn’t be disappointed if they took him at 23.

    1. That’s actually a good comparison in a lot of ways. Wish Rice was still a Viking.

  2. I have no idea what the writer is talking about, where did you get those 40 times. Hopkins ran a 4.50 and 4.50 unofficial in the combine. NOT once did anyone talk about 4.4, not even his unofficial which is suppose to be lower. He ended up with a 4.56 official forty and at his pro day today the guy ran a 4.52, im not saying that he isn’t good cuz clearly his numbers and the fact scouts are raving about his pro day proves that he might be a good wideout, my point is you cant make up stats and things too prove or disprove your point. This writer doesn’t know what he talking about because he cant even get proper numbers for a forty.

    1. I’m thinking if it this is the situation you go one of two ways. Either take a DT that’s there if they like any of them at that point, or I think they try to trade down with someone like the falcons because I could seem them wanting to get a certain dr that they like and we could get more picks and at that point you can target either Hopkins or Justin hunter. In my opinion Hopkins is a reach at 23

      1. A trade down would be a trick this year, everyone will want to I bet… but it’d be a smart move.

    2. Jorge, you are 110% correct about the forty times, and I have fixed it. Thank you for pointing out the error, I appreciate it.

      It wasn’t on purpose, though, simply pulled numbers from the wrong line on my spreadsheet and didn’t double check close enough. My apologies.

      …Guess I shouldn’t try to write and catch up on “Justified” at the same time. Grr.

      1. its fine, i really was a little too hard on you. Thats what i get for coming on this site after having to read terrible articles on bleacher report and walterfootball. Your articles are actually fun to read and a little mistake on that forty time isnt a big deal.

    3. or…..perhaps “the writer” is human and simply made a mistake. Cut “the writer” a little slack George.

      1. The writer displays the occasional lapse in concentration and can, at times, be easily bested by knowledgable Internet draftniks. At the next level, he needs to improve his overall editing skills, remember to double check his work, and stop making stuff up. What he lacks in blogging ability, however, he makes up for with incredible good looks. Third round grade.

        1. That sounds like comments lifted from your last annual review your boss gave you!

  3. Adam, I think after making such a grvious mistake such as Jorge pointed out, you should just quit this blog idea and turn it over to Jorge.
    I mean come on! “Making up Stats”, “Not knowing what your talking about”??
    I had no idea!

  4. Justified;
    Was that one of the best shootouts last week that Raylan has ever had, or what?

    1. Haven’t enjoyed this season as much as usual (kind of a mess of a plot) but, yes, the last couple shootouts have been pretty fun. RIP Arlo.

  5. ‘The Writer’ also displays decent handling skills when dealing with rough criticism and shows a propensity to correct his own mistakes, which shows he’s coachable. However, his WPM may keep him in the third round.

    1. I was going to type at my Pro Day, but backed out at the last minute, but trust me I’m good for 135 WPM

  6. Adam… Don’t quit the blog! I can live with a mistake here there.
    As far as Hopkins?

    Bingo!….. it is about time Adam. You finally hit the target!!!!

    Yes, I am on the DeAndre Hopkins’s bandwagon. I agree with Dan, he reminds me of Sidney Rice and I think Hopkins is the best in the class.

    Simpson can take the top off a defense… what we need is a quick guy with great hands that can move the sticks on 3 and short. AP does a great job of keeping us in manageable 3rd down situations.

    Musgrave and Ponder are not the “take the top off a defense” type. Hopkins is a perfect fit at #23. Adam, I agree he is a great red zone target, but he is also very good at working the side lines… Which would open up the middle for Harvin or Rudolph.

    Hopkins had a great game in the Chick-Fil-A bowl against LSU.

    Harvin, Hopkins, Wright and resign Simpson would give us a dangerously good WR group.

    Hopkins is my favorite target so far because he has great hands! Good work Adam, you hit the target!

  7. Haven’t seen that in a while! Last time that happened, Johnny tore the guy a new one lol.:D

  8. Adam, one more correction… Hopkins was 214 lbs at the combine.

    Hopkins is only a junior… 52 receptions as a freshman, 72 as a sophomore, and 82 this year.
    27 TDs on his career.

    Adam, Hopkins not big or physical enough? Struggles with body catches? Really? He makes one handed catches all the time! He is outstanding working in traffic? Most reports I have seen say he has sure hands when catching balls outside his frame and over his head… he is also very good at winning jump ball situations.

    I can tell you don’t like Hopkins much!

    Name a WR in this class that is outstanding at beating a good jam or reroute at the line of scrimmage?

    1. Thanks Carl, fixed the weight, as well. Geesh… I need to chek my whole spreadsheet now… hope I omly screwed up on Hopkins entry.

      My notes, however, come straight from me, but I am confident you will find similar worries from other scouting reports. I think he is easily jammed and pushed towards the sideline. I think he lacks my favorite trait in a WR, being tough across the middle, although he isn’t horrible in this respect. One handed catches, athletic catches, yes… like I said, the body catching thing has improved with each year but he still does it from time to time… shows coachability.

      It’s not that I don’t like Hopkins… but I do have my worries about him (just like most prospects).

      Your last question: Keenan Allen

  9. Another Sid Rice? So, he’ll have three years of showing flashes of good play, then have one good year when we sign an old, seemingly washed-up QB, then hold off taking care of injuries until training camp starts, then leave for another team who’ll over pay?

  10. If Keenan Allen can prove he is healthy and he can run… Yes, I would take him over Hopkins.
    But if the Steelers or Rams take Keenan… and Sheldon Richards is off the board… I am ok with Hopkins.

    Yes, I am seeing reports Hopkins can be re-routed… But he is so good working the sidelines and the corner of the end zone that I don’t think it will be a problem for the Vikings. (if we keep Harvin)

    Clemson was not a pass happy offense… 7 games last season Clemson threw the ball less than 35 times. Hopkins is a good run blocker who has good enough footwork and quickness to get open.

  11. Adam- Florida State has a couple talented guys like Xaiver Rhodes and Terrence Brooks in the secondary. Xavier Rhodes is a great cover corner who likes to get up on the line and press and disrupt timing.

    Hopkins had 5 catches for 88 yards and a TD against Forida State.
    If you put a safety in the box (8 or 9 guy in the box to stop AP)… And you press and try to re-route Hopkins, he will burn you over the top.

        1. I think he would improve in that area as he got stronger in an NFL program. That was part of the reason I brought up the Rice comparison. Sidney gained a lot of muscle his first couple years and it made a big difference in his ability to fight off defenders on the deep ball. He was still effective as a rookie though because he had great ball skills and a good feel for the passing game. One of the big reasons I like guys like Hopkins, Allen, and Patton more than I do Patterson and Hunter is because I think they’ll be effective as rookies and with how crappy our receiver corp is at the moment that will be important.

          1. yeah, he’d improve from college to the pros for sure, the nfl has some great top-notch steroids

  12. Everyone makes mistakes, the fact that the writer was gracious enough to admit to a mistake and also laugh about it shows to the strong character of the writer, i wouldn’t mind having your paycheck tho lol. I still enjoy reading articles written on this site, which do include Adams, then those found on other sites such as bleacher report.

    1. You are the man, Jorge. I will never complain about having another guy around here keeping me in check and crying foul when necessary. I learned a long time ago, the hard way, not to let it bother me and to welcome criticism as it can only make this site better. I hope you stick around for the long haul, we have a lot of fun around here, and once these guys let their hackles down a bit you’ll find them to be the best Vikings fans on the internet.

      About that paycheck, however, I was going to mail it to you… but I ran out of money after buying the stamp. 🙂

  13. LMAO ! very well put adam. Yea i just came across this site because i started getting bored of bleacher report reporting nothing lol, and walterfootball. I like this site very much tho, keep up the good work despite what sometimes rude fans like myself say lol.