Re: What are realistic projections for DeAndre Hopkins?
I don't think trying to compare Hopkins to other receivers drafted by other teams is a good way to go about predicting his impact. We should look at other #2 receivers we have had and compare Hopkins' talent and skill set to those receivers. The problem is that we haven't had many #2 receivers worth targeting alot to predict Hopkins' production with any accuracy.
Hopkins compares to Walter in that they are both, mostly, possession type receivers. I think Hopkins has about equal route running ability right now than what Walter was last year, but with more run after catch, pure catch strength, and explosiveness. I'd suspect that Hopkins, in the beginning of the year, will be targeted a tad more than Walter was last year and will give us more production per target. If that is the case, we probably will be seeing Hopkins' opportunities increase toward the end of the season and into the playoffs. Obviously, that is assuming we don't have injuries to Andre, our TEs, or Hopkins himself. Injuries to other weapons will only see Hopkins' targets increase.
Alot of this has to do with Hopkins' confidence and development going forward. If he takes advantage of his opportunities early on, I think the sky is the limit for him this year. If he shows Kubiak that he can produce early when given the opportunity, he could become a pretty large part of the offense. We don't have alot of weapons that would take away from his opportunities.
Long story short, Hopkins' numbers should be better than Walter last year and he should most definitely be a bigger part of the offense than any #2 receiver we have ever had.