Rookie Hopkins makes insane catch
DeAndre’s Hopkins’ career with the Texans is off to a good start – albeit after just the first day of rookie camp.
The first-round selection from Clemson showed off the hands that landed him in the first round of April’s draft at No. 27 and into the Texans’ facility.
He did, however, leave the afternoon session early with cramps. Fellow rookie wideout Alan Bonner also had some cramping. Head coach Gary Kubiak said Hopkins is fine.
Wearing his new No. 10, Hopkins made one catch in the morning session that stood out about the rest – an impressive one-handed grab over a defender.
“Oh man, it was kind of just instinct. I couldn’t get my other hand on it, so I just put one hand up there and it stuck in there,” Hopkins said.
And apparently, even though the team is still in the early stages of the offseason, the competition has already started.
“He made one big catch and when he came back on the sidelines, he sort of stared me down,” said safety D.J. Swearinger, who added that the two are friends. “But it’s all good. We’re going to talk trash; both of us are from the 864 (area code), so we’re going to talk trash, but we’re good boys.”
Hopkins comes into this season with the Texans as the likely starter on the opposite side of Pro Bowler Andre Johnson. Hopkins is the first first-round receiver the Texans have taken since Johnson in the 2003 draft.
“I’m not sure about it,” Hopkins said when asked if he expects to be a starter, “but I just want to come out and fight for a position. Anything I can do to help this team win a championship, I want to do.”
But Hopkins also said his personal expectation was for him to be a starter by the beginning of the regular season.
Hopkins had 82 receptions for 1,405 yards and 18 touchdowns as a junior last season. His 24 catches of 20 yards or more were the most in the ACC.
“Impressed. Very impressed,” head coach Gary Kubiak said of Hopkins. “Very competitive; that’s No. 1. We knew that. Tremendous hands. He’s got big hands. Has no problem with the ball, come out of a break; all those things we knew we were getting. But I loved the competitive nature I’m just watching him come out here and compete today.”
Hopkins said that it didn’t take very long for the realization that he was in the NFL to sink in. Once they hit the field inside on Friday morning, the workout began and it wasn’t a college workout. It was an NFL workout.
“When we started warming up, it wasn’t an easy warm up,” he said. “Guys were out there huffing and puffing and like, ‘Man, this is kind of harder than the college warm-up that we’re used to.’ That kind of kicked in as soon as we got up here and started warming up. This is the NFL and it’s serious.”