HOUSTON (CBS Radio) – The Texans drafted wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins from Clemson with the 27th pick. Fans in Reliant Stadium erupted in cheers after hearing the Texans were, in fact, drafting a much-needed wideout. After much speculation, the Texans did not trade their pick and drafted a wide receiver for the first time since 2003 when they drafted Andre Johnson with the 3rd overall pick.
DeAndre Hopkins, 6-1 and 214 pounds, set Clemson career records for receiving yards (3,020), 100-yard receiving games (12) and touchdown catches (27), including at least one score in each of the last 12 games.
Offensive coordinator Rick Dennison said that he had his sights set son Hopkins for the Texans’ first-round pick. In a press conference with Houston media, Dennison said that Hopkins was a receiver that would compete for the ball and wear out defensive backs.
“I was holding my breath. He was the guy that I wanted.”
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Dennison also praised Hopkins for his great length, great ball skills, and explosion in route skills. Dennison said he admired how Hopkins increased his productivity each year and showed up for the big games.
“He’ll play without the ball too. He’ll go out and block. You can see his strength on film.”
Hopkins notched 52 catches for 537 yards and 4 scores as a true freshman with three 100-yard games in the final four contests. Hopkins said playing basketball for Clemson helped improve his vertical skills. In a conference call after being selected, he said his physical style of play came naturally.
“When the ball is in the air, i feel like it’s mine.”
Hopkins (nicknamed “Nuke”) said he had been watching this year’s draft at home with family and friends and was most excited to play alongside Andre Johnson whom he looked up to and watched over the years. When he heard that Johnson was lobbying for another wide receiver in the draft, Hopkins said he knew he was that guy. Being the only other wide receiver drafted in Texans’ franchise history, Hopkins said he knew he had big shoes to fill. When asked what he hoped to accomplish in his new role with the Texans, Hopkins simply said,
“I want to help win championships and I feel like I can start immediately.”
In the last 10 drafts, the 27th overall pick has produced exactly as many Pro Bowl players (five) as the No. 1 and No. 2 overall picks.