The Texans have been in desperate need of a WR2 who could threaten defenses down the field and who could be relied on to rack up catches when Andre Johnson was facing a touch matchup.
DeAndre Hopkins came into the draft as the WR whom I believed was the most NFL-ready of the early round players. "Nuk" has solid hands, has enough game speed to get behind defenses and he's showing that his ability to get out of his breaks is creating separation that the Texans didn't usually see with Kevin Walter. While it is very early into camp and the pressure will ratchet up, the thing that has impressed me most with Hopkins is that he looks very comfortable on the field and he doesn't appear to be pressing much at all.
In one-on-one drills against the CBs, Hopkins made an difficult grab in the corner of the endzone with Roc Carmichael hanging all over him. In the team portion down during redzone scrimmage against the defensive starters, Hopkins ran an out that shook Johnathan Joseph and created enough space for Matt Schaub to make a comfortable throw before Hopkins went out near the goal line. Hopkins ability to threaten defenses down the field, with quick-release fades near the end zone and over the middle should give the Texans as potent a passing attack as we have seen over the last 2 or 3 season.
For fantasy football owners out there who are devouring everything they can in preparation for their drafts/auctions, anything less than 50 catches for Hopkins would seem disappointing to me at this early stage. In reality, I think 52-60 catches is a very reasonable goal for Hopkins and I could see him with even more if Schaub continues to develop confidence in the young wideout throughout camp and in the pre-season.
We currently have Hopkins projected for 58 catches for 858 yards and 4.5 TDs, which is right in line with Zierlein's prediction. He's an interesting WR4 that's going in the early double-digit rounds.