One player who met with the Denver Broncos at the NFL Combine was Clemson receiver DeAndre "Nuke" Hopkins. Hopkins is a 6'1 214 lb Wide Receiver who ranks among the top receiving prospects in the 2013 NFL Draft. CBSSports.com ranks Hopkins as the 5th overall receiving prospect and the 37th overall prospect in the upcoming draft. Hopkins figures to go anywhere from the mid to late first round to the early to mid second round.
During his 3 year career at Clemson, DeAndre Hopkins has been rather productive. Hopkins totaled 206 receptions for 3,020 yards and 27 TDs. In 2012 Hopkins had a outstanding year, totaling 82 receptions for 1,405 yards receiving and 18 touchdowns for the Clemson Tigers.
Position: Wide Receiver
Major: Community Recreation, Sport & Camp Management
Experience: 2 Letters
Born: June 6, 1992 (20)
Major: Community Recreation, Sport & Camp management
Talented wideout who had outstanding hands and ball skills ... had 206 receptions for 3,020 yards and 27 touchdowns, 12 punt returns for 82 yards, and two kickoff returns for 32 yards in 2,059 snaps over 39 games (32 starts) in his career ... first in school history in receiving yards, first in receiving touchdowns, first in 100-yard receiving games (12), and second in receptions ... became the second player in ACC history to total at least 50 receptions as both a freshman and sophomore ... had at least one reception in each of his last 36 games, tied for the school record ... only Tiger in history with multiple 100-yard receiving performances in bowl games; he had three; had 32 receptions for 403 yards and three touchdowns in three career bowl games ... played basketball for the Tigers after the football season ended in 2010-11; he was a member of Clemson’s NCAA Tournament team, but did not travel to the tourney.
Draft Profile for DeAndre Hopkins:
NFL.com Scouting Report on Hopkins:
Presents good height and length for an outside receiver, also has some lower-body strength for explosion off the line of scrimmage and in his cuts. Solid route-runner used in the short, intermediate, and deep games, who has flexibility to avoid corners in zone and the quick feet to separate on hitches, comebacks, and other cuts. Does a nice job creating separation and deceiving defensive backs with head fakes and quick moves. Will threaten the top of defenses with NFL-quality straight-line speed. Possesses strong hands in traffic, not afraid of contact downfield and can separate at the last second with an arm extension. Agile enough to quickly avoid oncoming defenders after the catch yet remain balanced to head downfield for the big gain. Does not go down without a fight, can run through arm tackle attempts from cornerbacks. Snatches throws with his hands, even those within his frame. Concentrates on the ball throughout difficult catches and extends his long arms to make a big radius. Sells double-moves well with a head fake and body lean. Very good body control to contort his body on catches and pluck the ball out of the air, keep one foot in-bounds on the sideline. Effective run blocker, usually reaches his target and gets his hands up, uses correct blocking angle to sustain; also shows some nastiness at times, capable of putting his man to the ground. Consistently productive over his time at Clemson, improving his stats each season
Only average size for a starting outside receiver and has room to add bulk to his frame. Occasionally loses track of the ball on easy catches when trying to make a move too early. Must prove his ability to use his hands to beat press coverage from NFL veterans off the line. Dances around defenders and run backwards after short catches at times, losing his balance or some yardage, instead of heading upfield. Will need to be more consistently physical in the blocking game at the next level.
NFL COMPARISON: Roddy White
DeAndre Hopkins NFL Combine results:
CBSSports.com Scouting Report on Hopkins:
Nice job catching the ball in stride and immediately creating after the catch with a very good sense of his surroundings, always appearing to have a plan. Deceiving body strength and powers through arm tackles, playing with toughness.
Strong hands with above average body control and focus to highpoint and attack the ball in the air. Tracks the deep ball and shows a second gear to separate at the final moment and finish. Very good short-area burst in his cuts with some beautiful stop-and-go moves and route acceleration to create room.
Good shoulder dip and footwork to set up his routes with very good feel, taking pride in his patterns. Handled quarterback Tajh Boyd's fastballs the past three years and uses his extension to reel-in tough grabs - high, low or outside, he goes and gets it. Uses his body well to box-out defenders and is fearless over the middle.
Changes gears well and knows how to turn on the jets, using his vision and awareness to create. Competitive and physical attitude and wants the ball more than anyone else on the field, never conceding the top receiver distinction to Watkins. Dedicated himself to the weight room this past off-season and it shows on the field. Much improved maturity took even the coaches by surprise with his goal oriented approach and work ethic. Super productive the past three seasons, leaving with school with numerous school and conference records.
Lean torso with average height and frame with limited growth potential. Won't break a lot of tackles and has room to get stronger. Will have his share of focus drops, running before securing the grab at times.
Will attempt to corral the catch at times instead of using his palms. Lacks track speed and won't be able to leave NFL cornerbacks in his dust on foot speed alone. Showed steady progression each year, but still improving his consistency and is not yet a finished product.
Reggie Wayne, WR, Indianapolis Colts - Like Wayne, Hopkins isn't the biggest or fastest, but he's able to manipulate his routes to create separation and is a reliable pass catcher with the body control, focus and competitive nature to finish. And like Wayne (30th pick in the 2001 NFL Draft), Hopkins will likely fall out of the top-25 picks and prove to be an excellent value in the late first or early second round.
I really really like Hopkins. I believe he would be a solid addition to our offense. Like I said in the Keenan Allen post. With Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas both needing contracts in the coming years, drafting a replacement for one of the two has to be a priority. I believe Hopkins would thrive in a Peyton Manning offense. He has sure hands, runs great routes and is reliable. The Reggie Wayne comparison is accurate in my mind. He should be available at 28, and potentially at 58 though I think that is doubtful. The Broncos have been looking at Receivers throughout the process, so lets not rule out a receiver taken earlier than some expect.