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.

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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…