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Hopkins: Savage, Watson can be Texans franchise QBs

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Texans wideout DeAndre Hopkins has flourished despite a pronounced lack of stability at the quarterback position in Houston over the years. In 2015, he became the only receiver in NFL history to log 100 yards receiving in a game with four different quarterbacks in a season. The Texans are tied for the most starting quarterbacks (9) since 2013 with the Cleveland Browns.

This offseason at the combine, his head coach stared bug-eyed at a reporter asking why Hopkins had a down year in 2016 with 78 catches and 954 yards -- a hint that Bill O'Brien understands Hopkins is doing everything in his power to be productive despite the mess under center.

But as he approaches training camp in 2017, Hopkins has a new outlook and is confident his days without a franchise quarterback are over. Whether it's Tom Savage or first-round pick Deshaun Watson, he feels one of them will finally provide him with the chemistry he needs to take off.

"Very eager. Very eager," Hopkins said on NFL Network's Inside Training Camp Live on Wednesday. "You know, through my whole career I think I've played with the most quarterbacks through any wide receiver's career throughout my first four years. So, I've never had stability at quarterback to be able to build chemistry in back to back years. So to have two guys like that in the locker room that I know can be franchise quarterbacks, it's a great feeling."

For now, that quarterback is Tom Savage, who told NFL Network's Marshall Faulk on Wednesday that "the equation is pretty simple. You go out there, you play well, you keep your job. You don't, you lose your job. And that's the mentality that I have. I just have to go out there and keep performing well and go from there."

Hopkins has been perennially left out of the conversation when discussing the best receivers in football but his Sisyphean effort in 2015 combined with his unbelievable patience in 2016 should be taken into consideration. Odell Beckham would be successful anywhere but is fortunate to have Eli Manning. The same goes with Antonio Brown and Ben Roethlisberger.

As he awaits a new contract extension from the Texans' brass, it will be the most difficult aspect of his professional career to quantify. The one-time pro bowler's best two seasons (2014, 2015) produced 187 catches for 2,731 yards and 17 touchdowns. For comparison, Beckham's last two seasons yielded 197 catches for 2,817 yards and 23 touchdowns while Demaryius Thomas managed 195 catches for 2,387 yards and 11 scores.

Could Hopkins lap the field with a quarterback playing at or above replacement level for a few seasons in a row? He might be close to finding out.

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