HOUSTON (CBS Houston) – On Friday the Houston Texans were finally able to assemble their draft picks and undrafted free agents (UDFAs) on the field for the first day of mini-camp. Despite the heavy rain forcing practice inside the Texans’ practice bubble, Coach Gary Kubiak was pleased with what he saw from his nine draft picks, UDFAs, and players invited to tryout.
“I thought our scouts put together a heck of group of free agents and tryout kids,” Kubiak said during a break in mini-camp.
The most anticipated draft pick was first-round wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins left a great impression on coaches after Day 1.
“Very impressed, very competitive. That’s number one. We knew that. Tremendous hands, big hands. Has no problem with the ball,” Kubiak said of Hopkins. “All the things we knew we were getting but I love the competitive nature of him and watching him come out and compete today.”
Hopkins was happy to be back on the field after his deluge of media appearances. He said all the press made him “feel like a president” and that it was good to put on a helmet and get back to work.
“I was pleased. I made a couple mistakes but the first day out, that’s going to happen but overall, I felt good about what I did today.”
Hopkins was joined by wide receiver Alan Bonner, a sixth-r0und draft pick out of Jacksonville State, in mini-camp. Kubiak said he hoped the recent additions would help improve the receiving corp’s yards after the catch numbers (YAC).
Quarterbacks Collin Klein and Case Keenum also participated at mini-camp. Keenum was eligible under the since he had not a pension-accredited season under NFL guidelines.
“I think Case is fixing to be extremely competitive with T.J. and Matt and it comes from just confidence and knowing what we are doing. You can tell today he just comes out here with a bunch of young kids but obviously, he’s the leader of the group today in everything that he did,” noted Kubiak.
Kubiak was also impressed with Klein’s mental preparation and intelligence. “First thing that jumped out at me, is that he knew exactly what he was doing after coming out of a meeting so that tells you how sharp he is. All the other stuff you can work on but obviously, it’s a big opportunity for him and it was good step in the right direction this morning.”
The Texans’ D.J. Swearinger will be getting facing a bigger role this offseason. The rookie safety may be getting more key reps during OTAs and training camp with recent news of Ed Reed’s arthroscopic hip surgery. Kubiak said that Swearinger handled himself like a veteran Friday.
“He handled himself like he had been out here for a couple of years but that’s what he did at South Carolina. He’s the same type of guy.”
Texans mini-camp continues through May 12. Kubiak is optimistic that the Texans can learn a lot from these three days with the rookies, undrafted free agents, and invited players.
“The thing you find out real quick is just how competitive guys are and we’ll throw a lot at them just to see how they study, how they walk out of a meeting room, come over there and do it. There’s a lot of things to work out but the biggest thing we need to (work out) when we get to Monday is to have our group set and get to work.”