As they wrap up their 'Organized Team Activities' and move into full-scale minicamp next week, the Houston Texans' coaches and players continue to offer rave reviews for former Clemson and Daniel High star DeAndre Hopkins.
Writing on the Texans' official website, Nick Scurfield noted recently that Hopkins, the team's first-round draft pick, caught 'everything in sight' during Houston's rookie mini-camp last month, and has continued to excel as a starting receiver during OTAs.
Veteran safety Danieal Manning said he's been impressed by Hopkins' ability to fight for the ball and make catches in traffic.
“Hopkins, man even though he’s our first pick, he stands out a lot," Manning told Texans.com. "He's just making plays. He’s made a ton of plays in this offseason."
Head coach Gary Kubiak said the club got what it expected when it drafted Hopkins.
"He's special," Kubiak told Texans.com. "Ball skills are extremely special. Very long, long arms. Big hands. You saw the catch he made out here today. He's going to help us early, and we know that, and that's why we brought him here."
Scurfield described the catch Kubiak was referring to as "a deep, arching rope down the left sideline...Hopkins hauled it in with his left hand while his right arm was being tugged by a defensive back."
The Texans have also been impressed by Hopkins' professional demeanor and his team-focused approach to his game.
“My goal is to win a Super Bowl,” Hopkins said during a recent team podcast. "Hopefully, that’s everybody on the team’s goal. I don’t have any individual goals but to win a Super Bowl.”
The same goes for his career, he said.
“Be a multi Super Bowl champion, basically; that’s it,” he said. “I want to be a champion. I feel like individual goals come with big goals like that. Setting the bar high is to win a championship, not being a Pro Bowler or anything like that. Just being in the league for a long time and hopefully staying on the same team and bringing multiple championships to the city.”
Hopkins told Scurfield that he continues to learn from veteran receiver Andre Johnson, who he's shadowed since the day he arrived in Houston.
“I’ve learned a lot from him so far,” Hopkins said. “I couldn’t point out one thing in particular because I’ve learned so much just in these couple weeks that I’ve been here. He treats all the rookies like little brothers. We ask him any questions, and he’s there for us. Off the field as well; we call him if we need anything or any kind of advice, and he’s got it.
“It’s my pleasure to be able to play with a guy like that, somebody that I’ve looked up to my whole career playing football, basically since he’s been here. When he was at Miami, I used to watch him. So it’s an honor just to be beside someone like that and just know that he’s grooming you to be like him one day.”