Oct 20, 2012; Clemson, SC, USA; Clemson Tigers wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (left) catches the ball while being defended by Virginia Tech Hokies cornerback Antone Exum (1) during the third quarter of the game at Clemson Memorial Stadium. Tigers won 38-17.
Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports
With the NFL Draft fewer than 30 days away, we here at Lombardiave.com are taking a few moments out of each day to take a look at players who might be available when the Green Bay Packers are on the clock at #26.
The past couple of days we took a look at some of the running backs who might be available to the Packers in this year’s draft and today we move on to the wide receivers.
DeAndre Hopkins (6) carries the ball during the first quarter of the game against the Furman Paladins.Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports
In three years at Clemson, Hopkins helped the Tigers become one of the premier offenses in the nation. He had a highly impressive 2012, catching 82 passes for 1,405 yards (17.1-yard average), and 18 touchdowns.
He catches the ball well at just about any spot on the field and though he’s not a speed burner, one of his best attributes is his ability to create separation and get open.
However, one of the best thing about Hopkins is that he could easily fall to the late first round and may be available when the Packers are on the clock. Whether Ted Thompson will select a receiver in the first round will depend on how the draft falls and what he sees as his best options at that point.
Given that the Packers lost Greg Jennings to Minnesota last month, Thompson may see this as a perfect opportunity to restock his stable of receivers, but with so many needs in other areas, he may also be looking to the second or third rounds for a receiver. With the possibility of two or maybe even three receivers projected to be picked in the first round, Thompson may have plenty of talent from which to choose – and that talent pool may include Hopkins.
However, there are those who feel that if Hopkins falls to the second round, he won’t last long.
DeAndre Hopkins (6) carries the ball during the second quarter of the game against the Furman Paladins at Memorial Stadium. Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports
With that said, there are reasons that teams will be high on this receiver. According to walterfootball.com, a few of the positive attributes he possesses is that he runs great routes, separates from defenders, has great body control to make sideline catches, creates yards after the catch, is unselfish and has improved each year over the course of his college career.
Weaknesses include a drop here and there, his size, and the fact that he doesn’t have elite speed.
To me, and to others, he’s a Greg Jennings-type receiver who would be the perfect replacement for the long-time Packer. Though the Packers have a cadre of pass catchers in-house for quarterback Aaron Rodgers, picking up at least another through the draft might be a wise move for Thompson.
In my mind, Hopkins could be that guy.
Here’s a video of DeAndre Hopkins …