A year ago in Houston, DeAndre Hopkins was the talk of the town.
Just drafted by the Texans in an effort to broaden their offensive attack and help get them over the hump as a Super Bowl contender, Hopkins went about his business and turned in a solid rookie year.
There ended up being a lot of 'despites,' however.
Somehow, the Texans' offense never got rolling. Inconsistency at quarterback ended up being a season-long malady, and Hopkins became increasingly less of a factor in the team's game plan the longer the offense struggled. Houston plummeted to an NFL-worst 2-14 record that earned them the No. 1 pick in the 2014 draft.
Despite their pressing need for a franchise quarterback, the team's management opted to go the 'best available' rout and took South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who may have made the Texans stronger overall, but didn't do anything for the passing game.
Star receiver Andre Johnson was so disgruntled with the Texans' decision not to take a quarterback with their first pick that he's talked about wanting to play elsewhere - and his stated intention to skip Organized Tea Activities and mandatory mini-camp in June is currently a hot top on various Texans' websites and blogs.
Houston eventually took a quarterback - but not until the fourth round, when the Texans nabbed Pittsburgh's Tom Savage, a big, tall, strong-armed passer who posted impressive numbers for the Panthers last season after transferring twice, first from Rutgers and then from Arizona.
Savage ended up starting as a freshman at Rutgers, was injured and played sparingly as a sophomore, and then sat out two seasons before landing at Pitt. He'll compete this season against Case Keenam, T.J. Yates and newly acquired Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Whoever wins the Texans' starting quarterback job, the team's fresh start under a new head coach is probably good news for Hopkins.
He finished with 52 receptions for 802 yards last season, and earned a spot of Mel Kiper Jr.'s NFL All-Rookie team. But he was targeted just 91 times in 16 games - fewer than half the passes thrown to Johnson.
Better balance in the offense, as well as improving passing accuracy, should give Hopkins an opportunity to emerge as a consistent playmaker for the Texans in 2014-15.
Through a 2-14 season and diminished passing catching chances were certainly not what Hopkins was expecting from his first NFL season, he talked 'team' throughout the Texans' long losing streak.
Hopefully this season, he'll get more of an opportunity to make that team better.
Follow Kerry Capps on Twitter @oandwkc