Rotoworld, Please Apologize to Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins

On Dec. 22 RotoWorld calls DeAndre Hopkins an "indisputable disappointment"
On Dec. 22 RotoWorld calls DeAndre Hopkins an “indisputable disappointment”

For more than a year now I have been one of DeAndre Hopkins’ biggest supporters.  In DeAndre the Giant I made the case that Hopkins was an SEC giant slayer.  In DeAndre Hopkins and 2012’s Clutch Receiver I detailed his propensity to come through in tough spots.  All things considered, I had no choice but to rank him #1 in The 2013 RotoViz Composite Rookie WR Rankings.

Fast forward through his 2013 rookie season and we see that he played, and started, in all 16 games for the hapless Texans, hauling in 52 balls for 802 yards and two touchdowns.  I think that’s a pretty impressive line for a rookie on such a bad team, but some people– I’m looking at you, Rotoworld– were less impressed.  RotoWorld said on December 22nd that “‘Nuk’ has been an indisputable disappointment as a rookie.”

Um, okay?  Here’s why RotoWorld is WAAAY off base with their comment:

The first thing to realize about DeAndre Hopkins is that he played his rookie season at age 21, which is a rare feat.  If you compare his 2013 performance to every other 21 year old receiver in NFL history (using Pro Football Reference’s season finder), you can see that he ranks 9th all-time in receiving yards per game.  Not too shabby.

Rotoworld Texans Deandre Hopkins 2013 rookie clemson

While the 9th all-time ranking is impressive, I’m actually more amazed by the raw numbers.  On a yardage basis, Hopkins recorded the 4th highest total in NFL history.  The reason for his jump from 9th (avg) to 4th (raw) is because he played in all 16 games.  Typically I’d go for the high efficiency player, but I credit Hopkins for “surviving” a 16 game schedule as a 21 year old; something about that defies probability.  (Again with the Pro Football Reference’s season finder)

Rotoworld Texans DeAndre Hopkins 2013 Clemson Rookie

Perhaps RotoWorld was looking at this matter from a fantasy angle; was Hopkins a disappointment in that capacity?  I don’t know.  Do you consider the 12th best 21 year old fantasy season EVER to be a disappointment?  Note that everyone above him has at least 4 TDs.  If Nuk hit that mark he would have jumped up to #8.  (via the Pro Football Reference’s season finder)

Rotoworld Texans Deandre Hopkins fantasy football 2013 clemson rookie

I’m not really sure what more you could ask of him.  No, he wasn’t Keenan Allen, but he was pretty damn good, all things considered.  Things should get way better in year 2 with a new QB and new head coach.  If people in your league are down on DeAndre Hopkins this offseason, or next fall during your draft, get him on your team.  He’s gotten better every year since 2010 and there’s no reason to think his ascent will slow in 2014.

Jon Moore is  a contributor to RotoViz.com. You can continue this conversation with him on Twitter or Google+.

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DeAndre Hopkins, yes, please.

Coming into the season Clemson WR DeAndre Hopkins wasn’t even considered to be the best pass-catcher on his own team, playing opposite 2011 1st team All American Sammy Watkins.  But, a combination of Watkins missing games and Hopkins increasing his level of play led to Hopkins early season success and rapport with Tahj Boyd.  And once he got going, hardly anybody slowed down Hopkins.  Now, he’s one of the top 5 WR prospects in the 2013 draft.

On a per game basis, check out these numbers:

6.3 catches (top 10, last 15 years in ACC)

108 yards  (#2, last 15 years in ACC behind only Torry Holt)

1.4 touchdowns  (#2, last 15 years in ACC behind only Torry Holt)

Pretty outrageous, right?  To bolster his case, he improved in all 9 of my receiving metrics from 2011 to 2012, indicating that he’s still evolving as a player.  A few names that might also jump out at you that compare VERY similarly to Hopkins: Torrey Smith, Roddy White.

Keep an eye on Hopkins from now through April and stay tuned to see where he lands in my pre-draft guide.

Who to watch: Clemson v. LSU (Chick-Fil-A Bowl)

Stay tuned for must-see prospects from every game of the bowl season.

Chick-Fil-A

Monday, December 31, 7:30pm EST

ESPN

DeAndre Hopkins, your table is ready.

Clemson

DeAndre Hopkins, #6, Junior, WR

In my November WR rankings, I named DeAndre Hopkins the #3 draft-eligible wide out in the country and, despite a slow November, I am still very high on him.  It’s almost impossible to imagine that he scored a receiving touchdown in every conference game, and in 11 of 12 games overall.  Off hand, my rough estimation is that less than 3% of wide receivers who play college ball come close to that, which shows you what kind of rare talent he is.  Also, his 1.33 touchdowns/game average ranks 17th in my database of more than 2,000 receiving seasons over the past 15+ years.  To further illustrate his absurd playmaking ability, consider that of all wide receivers who caught at least 65 passes this year, only Hopkins and Baylor’s Terrance Williams averaged more than 17.5 yards per reception.

It will be absolutely fascinating to watch Hopkins square off against an elite SEC defense in the LSU Tigers.  If he can end the year with a bang in the Chick-Fil-A bowl, I expect Hopkins to declare for the draft and be a top 70 selection.

 

 

Who to Watch: Texas Tech v. Minnesota (Texas Bowl)

Stay tuned for must-see prospects from every game of the bowl season.

Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas

Friday, December 28, 9:00pm EST

ESPN

The Curious Case of Darrin Moore.

Texas Tech

Darrin Moore, #14, Senior, WR

In 2008 a highly regarded quarterback transferred away from Gainesville and found a home in Texas at Blinn College.  That player would lead Blinn to the 2009 Junior College National Championship, before transferring to Auburn, leading the Tigers to a National Championship, being drafted #1, and winning Rookie of the Year.  His name?  Cam Newton.  But who would have thought that another player from that 2009 Blinn team would reappear on our radar?

Darrin Moore was a pass catcher for Cam Newton as a freshman at Blinn college, hauling in 37 passes for 559 yards and 3 TDs, all of which ranked second on the team.  He joined the Texas Tech Red Raiders for the 2010 season and has gradually increased his role before going bonkers in 2012.

His average stat line in 2012:  7.4 receptions, 86 yards, 1.2 TDs.

Even better, I love the fact that his production increased as the season went on…

  • September (4 games)  15 receptions,  142 yards,  4 TDs
  • October (4 games)  28 receptions,  298 yards,  4 TDs
  • November (4 games)  38 receptions,  508 yards, 5 TDs

All told, his 13 touchdowns in a single season is an achievement that less than 3% of all college wide receivers will ever accomplish!

Let’s revisit that 1.2 touchdowns per game number.  It trails only Stedman Bailey and DeAndre Hopkins for the best rate in all of College Football. For a historical perspective, that 1.2 number is in a class with what Sidney Rice, Roddy White, Braylon Edwards did in their college years.  Yes, really.

MINDBOGGLINGLY, NFL Draft Scout has him ranked as the 83rd best WR in the senior class… not the 83rd best in the country… the 83rd best SENIOR.  Seriously?  What is wrong with you people?  How is a 6′ 4”  215lb  Wide Receiver with these type of open field skills ranked so low?  In the first 60 seconds you’ll see why this is so preposterous…