Before the draft, Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson said that he hoped the team drafted another wideout to take some of the burden of the passing game off of his shoulders.
The Texans did just that by drafting DeAndre Hopkins in the first round of the draft. When asked about Hopkins this week, Texans coach Gary Kubiak said that Hopkins reminded him of Johnson off the field and drew a comparison to former Broncos standout Rod Smith — who Kubiak coached in Denver — on the field. Those comparisons come with an expectation that he’ll start producing from the moment he steps on the field for the Texans.
“I’m expecting it right off the get-go,” Kubiak said, via the team’s website. “He’s going in there, he’s gonna get the reps. It’s gonna be a very competitive situation, but we took him there because we expect him to play very, very early and touch (the ball). This guy’s on his way to being a pro already, and we’ve got to help him get there real fast.”
Projecting the production of a rookie receiver isn’t easy, but the Texans got just 63 catches out of wide receivers not named Andre Johnson last year so it isn’t like the bar is being set very high for taking some pressure off of the big guy. If Hopkins is anything close to what the Texans believe he is, there should be a noticeable and positive impact on the Houston offense.