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03-27-2013, 04:40 PM #1
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- Feb 2009
- Frederick, MD
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The Ravens Draft: DeAndre Hopkins
I know his name has been thrown around a bit here and IIRC Mizerooskie is a big time Clemson Tigers fan, so he can probably chime in a bit more regarding DeAndre "Nuk" Hopkins.
Here is my assessment of when I watch Hopkins:
1. Some will try to classify him as a good slot option and while I do agree to a certain extent, I actually think he is best suited for the X or Z receiver spot. When I watch him work the middle of the field I see a guy who keeps his head on a swivel (which is good), but he sometimes loses focus of where the ball is (which is bad). Ultimately, he is pretty consistent over the middle, but I have seen some instances where he seems to be worried about getting hit or where he's going to run rather than just making the catch. If he is drafted by the Ravens, I would really like to see him work on this, because when he does focus solely on making the catch he is money and can make acrobatic grabs with the best of them. Granted, the QB play from Tahj Boyd didn't help his cause from time to time as Boyd is an excellent down-field passer, but his accuracy seems to drop when he has to throw "touch" passes rather than a rocket, but I digress. When Hopkins lines up at the X or Z position, he works the sidelines VERY well. This is his strongest quality as a WR, IMO. He does a great job with double-moves and he can stop on a dime when running come-back routes. He does a nice job adjusting to passes in the air and he wins a lot of contested receptions as well. Against Florida State, he was covered by Xavier Rhodes (a 6'2" 210lb corner who is likely a top 15 pick this year) and Hopkins did a great job beating press coverage from Rhodes and keeping Rhodes off-balance for much of the game. Another thing that I really like about Hopkins is he already knows how to set up corners for back-shoulder passes, which Flacco likes to throw.
*[FTR, I think if Boyd were to have come out he would easily be the 2nd QB taken after Geno Smith]*
2. He isn't the biggest or the fastest guy on the field, but he has nice acceleration (clocked a 4.41 at Clemson's Pro-Day). His frame is tight and muscular with long arms (~34") and big hands (10"). In the video posted below if you watch the whole thing you'll notice how he makes the catch, plants his foot, and then accelerates quickly to pick up nice YAC on several plays. You can also see that he does - contrary to popular beliefs - have enough speed to get vertical and score TD's over the top. He won't outrun many elite-speed corners, but his route running ability gives him enough separation to make plays down the field. Like I said earlier: wicked double move.
Ultimately, I don't think he is a 1st round receiver and with guys like Cordarelle Patterson, Justin Hunter, Tavon Austin, and Keenan Allen getting most of the "WR buzz" I think Hopkins will drop into the 2nd round for sure. If he is someone the Ravens are targeting, then I think it would be wise to trade down from pick 32, pick up extra picks in the mid rounds, and target Hopkins somewhere in the top 20 picks of round 2. OR they could use their 1st round on someone completely different and move up in round 2 for Hopkins. I don't know that he'll last all the way to pick 64.
Current NFL Player that Hopkins reminds me of the most: James Jones.
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