DeAndre Hopkins WR Clemson #6
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Size/Athleticism: Adequate height and overall size. Strong enough to fight through press coverage. Shows great body control when working the sideline and adjusting to poorly thrown balls. Consistently finds a way to put himself into the best position to make a play.
Separation Skills: Lacks elite speed but has the ability to get over the top when he catches the defensive back off guard. One of the most polished route runners in this year’s draft class. Really excels at the nuances of his routes, sells his fakes and picks up those extra inches in separation that can prove to be the difference at the next level. Able to use double moves to gain that extra step that he needs to create separation on deep routes. Because defensive backs aren’t afraid of losing him over the top, he sees a lot of press coverage and typically does a nice job fighting through it.
Ball Skills: Reliable, but not elite hands. Rarely drops an easy catch, but doesn’t come up with a lot of tough catches when he’s hit immediately after getting his hands on the ball. Catches away from his body whenever possible and quickly secures the football. Frequently goes up and high points the ball. Despite his good hands, he’s not great in jump ball situations. Seems to lack that extra burst to allow him to explode upwards to gain the separation he needs to consistently win the battle with the defensive back.
Intangibles: No significant positives or negatives of note.
Durability: Suffered a concussion in a car accident in December, 2011.
Comments: Hopkins is arguably the most polished receiver in this year’s draft class. He lacks the measurables to be considered an elite prospect, but he has the tools to make an immediate impact. He lacks the speed to be an elite deep threat and lacks the size and strength to be an elite possession receiver, which makes me question his ability to be a true No. 1 in the NFL. But he is strong in all aspects of the game and should be a solid second or third option. He also has the skill set to excel in the slot. He reminds me of a faster version of Davone Bess, or a less physical version of Roddy White.