While Houston Texans wide receivers coach Larry Kirksey has advised putting away the anointing oils on rookie DeAndre Hopkins, head coach Gary Kubiak has been effusive in his praise since the Clemson star was selected in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
After a week of training camp, Kubiak's raves haven't abated as Hopkins works opposite Andre Johnson with the first-team offense.
"First off, my expectations for him are tremendous. That's why we drafted him. That's why we put him in the position we put him in very quickly. He's going to play across from a great player," Kubiak explained Friday via the team's official website. "... He's going to be a big part of our football team. He'll make us better and boy is he working toward doing that. He's been exceptional."
Kubiak might have replaced Jon Gruden as the head coach most likely to blow smoke about his own players, but Stephanie Stradley of the Houston Chronicle tells Around The League this is not a case of undue hype. Hopkins has excelled on contested balls and running after the catch in a consistent camp performance.
After watching Hopkins in organized team activities and training camp, The Sideline View's Lance Zierlein believes anything less than 50 receptions will be a disappointment for the rookie.
Bounced from the playoffs by the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots the past two years, the Texans desperately needed a second playmaker as a sidekick to Johnson. Early indications suggest they drafted the right receiver for the job.The Around The League Podcast is now available on iTunes! Click here to listen and subscribe.