DeAndre “Nuke” Hopkins Scouting Report

January 25th, 2013

“Nuke” has a chance to heat up draft boards (Photo courtesy of Scout.com)

QB / RB / FB / WR / TE / OT / OG / OC / DT / DE / OLB / ILB / CB / SAF
Prospect: DeAndre “Nuke” Hopkins
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 205
Grade: 7.45 (Grading Scale)

Athleticism:

+Impressive straight line speed to win over the top, proved to be a deep threat throughout his collegiate career

+Impressive body control on the sidelines to tap his toes with little room to spare

+Excellent burst out of cuts, gets to top speed with a great suddenness

-Very slight of frame, probably doesn’t weigh as much as the listed weight indicates

-Lack of strength shows up in route running occasionally, can be wedged to the sideline too easily

-High foot frequency as route runner, occasionally tried to break before coming under control and slipped though

Route Running:

+Routes very crisp and precise with deliberate foot placement

+Eats up cushion very quickly forcing defensive backs to show their hands early

+Has patience for slow-developing routes, sells double moves well because he doesn’t rush

+Impressive burst to separate at the top of intermediate and deep routes

+Tracks the deep ball very well and has shown ability to catch it over his shoulder

+Has developed subtle hand usage at the top of routes to aid separation

-Hand usage to negate press coverage is undeveloped, he’s reliant on his lateral quickness to defeat the press but was usually successful

Hands:

+Developed reliability of his hands drastically throughout his career, converted from a trap catcher to more of a hands catcher

-Still gets lazy occasionally and lets the ball into his body, means concentration drops still appear

+/-Shows concentration ability in traffic, less-so when going over the middle if he feels a safety could be coming

-Catching radius a bit limited by tendency to wait for the ball into his hands instead of plucking it

+Potential as a redzone target because of leaping ability and concentration in traffic

+Holds ball in classic high and tight position after the catch, proper ball security

Running/Return Ability:

+Terrific change of speed ability after the catch, combines with lateral agility to make tacklers miss

+When given a crease, showed ability to go the distance for touchdowns with pure speed after the catch

+Has some experience as a punt returner early in his Clemson career, flashed quickness to make tacklers miss in space

Leadership/Intangibles:

+Took on a leadership role in the receiving crops as a junior when Sammy Watkins was suspended, became clear-cut #1 receiver

-Route variety was limited at Clemson, predominantly ran routes near the boundary

+Will get scrappy as a blocker occasionally, but normally very cool-head and keeps his emotions under control

+Enjoys playing under pressure and doesn’t wilt under the spotlight of big games or pressure situations

Overall:

DeAndre Hopkins sent his productive career out the right way with a dominant 13 reception, 191 yards, and 2 touchdown performance in his final game against LSU.  The former two-sport star at Clemson continually developed his receiver skills during his career at Clemson.  The natural tools and athleticism are what his game is based on, but he’s still growing when it comes to the intricacies of the position.  Hopkins’ suddenness as a route runner makes him a handful for all defenses.  Against man coverage, he can use subtle separation skills to get away from cornerbacks.  Against zone coverage, he can lull safeties to sleep with a double move and beat them over the top with his top-end speed and burst.  He looks the part of a receiver who can become a quarterback favorite and security blanket.  If he can clean up his pass catching mechanics and eradicate the concentration lapses, the sky is the limit. Expect Hopkins to be a top 30 pick. Page/Risdon

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