The Big Question: Are the Texans asking too much of DeAndre Hopkins?
Texans coach Gary Kubiak recently predicted we'd see an immediate impact from rookie receiver DeAndre Hopkins. "I'm expecting it right off the get-go," Kubiak said of his first-round draft pick, emphasizing that Hopkins would touch the ball early and often.
Sounds nice on paper, but asking a first-year wideout to save your passing game is a stretch. For every Julio Jones and A.J. Green, there are buckets of rookie pass-catchers needing at least a season of on-field experience before they bloom. Working out the kinks with a new quarterback is just part of it. Learning route running at the pro level takes time. For others, coming out of fluid college attacks, it might be the first time they've been handed a playbook.
Houston, of course, is crossing its fingers this works. The hope is that Hopkins finally gives the Texans a field-stretcher to take some heat off Andre Johnson. If Hopkins struggles, Kubiak will be forced to rely on four veteran wideouts with a combined two career starts and 16 catches in the NFL.
On the plus side, Hopkins arrives with plenty of route-running experience from his days at Clemson, and his 10-inch hands are a plus. Still, Kubiak's already compared him to Rod Smith. How about we let him be DeAndre Hopkins first?
1. The Texans picked up safety D.J. Swearinger in the second round, one spot after the Ravens snatched up inside linebacker Arthur Brown. Had the Ravens gone somewhere else with their pick, I'm certain we'd be telling you in this space how great of a pickup Brown was for Houston's linebacker-needy defense.
2. A couple of LSU coaches at the Senior Bowl told Lance Zierlein of the Houston Chronicle that while a player like Barkevious Mingo would transition smoothly to outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense, defensive end Sam Montgomery -- the Texans' third-rounder -- was "definitely not a fit." Translation: He's not great in space, and suggestions out of Houston that he'll take snaps at strongside OLB are ominous.
3. Most interesting battle heading into camp? For me, how about rookie passer Collin Klein -- signed off the street -- hoping against hope to beat out T.J. Yates, Case Keenum or Stephen McGee as the Texans' backup quarterback. Most teams don't believe Klein's a viable NFL passer, seeing him more as a tight end, but I'll never forget listening to him answer that question over and over at the NFL Scouting Combine. Klein made it clear he only wanted to throw the ball.
Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.