Marvin Lewis impressed by Texans' DeAndre Hopkins


DeAndre Hopkins is one of the NFL's litmus test players. Although he doesn't garner a fraction of the national publicity that Dez Bryant and Odell Beckham receive, those who watch the games week-in and week-out understand the Houston Texans' star is one of the NFL's best wideouts.

"He is an impressive young guy," Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said Thursday, via the Texans' official website. "He has great body control, he is strong with the catch. He will be more fun to watch next week when they are playing against someone else."

Every game, all season

Hopkins is second only to Julio Jones with 8.3 receptions per game and ranks third behind Jones and Antonio Brown with 109 yards per game. Whereas those Pro Bowlers are doing their damage with Matt Ryan and Ben Roethlisberger, Hopkins has carried a Texans aerial attack despite four quarterback changes.

With acrobatic Packers receiver Jordy Nelson out for the season, Hopkins is staking his claim as the NFL's best boundary receiver. His bread and butter is a contortionist act on the sidelines and in the end zone, aided by huge, strong hands and physicality.

Hopkins' success comes as no surprise to coach Bill O'Brien, who declared his young wideout "one of the best in the league" last offseason.

"When we came here, he ... had a tremendous work ethic," head coach Bill O'Brien said. "He stayed after practice. He tried to do the things that we asked him to do. I can remember some moments last year where he made some incredible catches in the Giants game. I've seen those catches in practice, things like that that you just know he's a special player. He's a very special player."

If the Texans are going to have a realistic chance of knocking off the undefeated Bengals next Monday night, Hopkins will have to outplay Cincinnati All Pro A.J. Green.