Houston Texans: DeAndre Hopkins receives high marks for his efforts

Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (Photo by Gavin Baker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (Photo by Gavin Baker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins received high marks for his performance from a well-respected organization. Let’s examine this further.

Houston Texans fans — this typically would be a quiet period of time for this franchise as the organized team activities begin to wrap up and training camp begins within the next few weeks.  This will be a training camp that will have some battle involved with the one most notably at tight end, safety, cornerback and even the offensive line.

There’s a lot of talent that the Houston Texans have culled through the offseason and now it’s time to see if the guys they were able to pluck have what it takes to make the 53-man roster.  The team still doesn’t have a general manager in place as Brian Gaine was fired a few weeks back but I’m sure operations will be business as usual as we know Bill O’Brien is calling the shots.

Hell, O’Brien made be so bold to say that a general manager isn’t needed and he’d go on and usurp that power.  It’s kind of like when he went all these seasons without an offensive coordinator, then making the decision to promote Tim Kelly to that position.

It remains to be seen if anything will change and I seriously doubt that the Houston Texans will start the 2019 season without a general manager, just because of the nature of the job and the daily nuances of it.

But anyway, speaking of the offense, there was a guy that was pretty darn good on offense last season.  Is it Deshaun Watson?  Yes — but that’s not what I’m talking about.

It’s DeAndre Hopkins and he’s proving why he’s the best wide receiver in the NFL.  This debate will continue for eons but he’s making a damn good case.

To put things in perspective, here’s a graphic that Pro Football Focus put together:

I’m aware that we can’t always rely on PFF as a crutch but their analytics are usually right on the money and it’s a terrific way to evaluate their performance.  I’ve been a member — as well as a fan — of their work since their inception and they continue to add more to the complex web of data they cull each season.

Julio Jones and Odell Beckham Jr. will certainly be names that will provide a counterbalance to the argument.  They’re all athletically gifted but it’s Hopkins that continues to shine as he has been primarily healthy through his career and has put up terrific numbers despite the virtual turnstile of quarterbacks the Houston Texans have had over the years.

He’s got a staid presence under center now and this will continue to help his career blossom even

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Plus his drop rate was outstanding for 2018 — no other wide receiver with the immense amount targets can compare to Hopkins.  He had zero drops through his 115 catches last season.  That’s an impressive feat within its own and I expect that to continue through 2019 as well.

He also was third among receivers in yards per route run — trailing Julio Jones and Michael Thomas — picking up on average of 2.51 yards in each instance.

So this is the only the beginning — his legacy continues to be written as he follows an amazing track to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  Until that happens, let’s all witness the greatness this guy entails on each snap that he takes.

Next. Texans: Three thoughts reflecting on the firing of Brian Gaine. dark

Hopkins, 27, caught 115 balls for 1,572 yards — 13.7 yards per catch — along with 11 touchdowns in all 16 games last season.  His 70.6 catch percentage is, by far, the highest mark of his career.

For more grades, advanced statistics and more at Pro Football Focus, subscribe to PFF’s EDGE and ELITE subscriptions at ProFootballFocus.com.