The Texans, who have had a good run with first-round picks lately, selected Clemson wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins with the No. 27 overall selection in Round One on Thursday night.
Hopkins hauled in 82 passes for 1,405 yards and 18 touchdowns in his junior season at Clemson. The Texans, who lack a clear-cut starting wide receiver opposite of Andre Johnson after the release of Kevin Walter, could make Hopkins a first-stringer right off the bat.
The Texans’ drafting has been key to their success in recent seasons. Consider their last five first-round picks: outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus, defensive end J.J. Watt, cornerback Kareem Jackson, linebacker Brian Cushing, offensive tackle Duane Brown. Watt is a dynamic player — one of the very best defenders in the league — and Brown has become an excellent left tackle. Cushing too has shown difference-making ability at times. Jackson’s play has stabilized after a rough start to his career, and Mercilus notched six sacks as a rookie as a key reserve.
The Texans are not afraid to plug rookies right into important roles. Mercilus, Watt, Jackson, Cushing and Brown all got chances to contribute in their first NFL seasons. Given the Texans’ track record and their WR situation, Hopkins could very well get on-the-job training.
Hopkins has denied involvement in the alleged mistreatment of a hotel room assigned to him and Rutgers’ Mark Harrison.