DeAndre Hopkins' decision is looking like a good one.
By all accounts, Clemson's record-breaking wide receiver did himself well during his NFL Combine workout on Sunday, as he displayed better than good-enough speed to go with sharp routes and impressive ball-catching skills.
During the Combine's standard drills, Hopkins ran a pair of 40-yard dash times just over 4.5 seconds and posted top-10 performances at his position in both the bench press (15 reps) and the vertical jump (36.0 inches). He also ran a 4.50 20-yard shuttle.
Here's a look of some of what was being said about Hopkins after his Combine workout:
Matt Miller: "DeAndre Hopkins may be the most complete wide receiver in this year's class, especially in Year One. He won't get out of the first round."
Mike Mayock: "DeAndre Hopkins only ran a 4.57, but I don't really care. He's a natural-hands pass-catcher. I think he runs great routes. I loved his bowl game against LSU. He's one of the best at the Combine in running corner routes...(He makes) an awkward catch - the ball falling away from him on a deep route - and did it effortlessly. I think he's not going to go in the first round, but when you talk 'best value,' DeAndre Hopkins is there."
Tony Pauline: "Hopkins was not the fastest receiver at the combine but looked the most natural catching the ball. He ran terrific routes, quickly getting into breaks and losing little momentum on exit. Hopkins plucked the ball from the air with soft hands and displayed terrific concentration in all the drills. He offers first-round receiving skills despite second-round speed."
New England Patriots blogger Joe Soriano: "Clemson WR DeAndre Hopkins is one of my favorite wideouts in this class, and he could be a target for the Patriots in round one. I hope he falls into round two at pick 29, because Hopkins would be a steal there for the Patriots. Hopkins is just so athletic, and he is an incredibly natural pass-catcher with the best ball skills of any wideout in this draft.
"The former Clemson standout ran both forty times of exactly 4.50, which doesn’t tell us that much more or less about Hopkins’s speed going forward. We knew going into the Combine that Hopkins isn’t a speed guy, but rather somebody who bases his game off of making tough catches and doing an excellent job of getting open to make plays. But 4.50 forty times are usually a good thing, and it shows that some of the knocks on Hopkins for speed are unwarranted. He really helped himself with those runs."
CBSSports.com: Strengths - "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.
"Compares to 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."