DeAndre Hopkins: I would like to see a first-round pick do what Julio Jones and I do

Arizona Cardinals Off-Season Workout
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When the Titans finalized a trade for wide receiver Julio Jones, some were surprised that Atlanta received a second-round pick in exchange for the seven-time Pro Bowler.

Arizona’s DeAndre Hopkins was among that group.

Hopkins, of course, was also traded for a second-round pick, with the Texans sending him to the Cardinals last year.

So what does it mean that both Hopkins and Jones couldn’t command first-round picks on the open market?

“That we’re not worth first-round picks, that the first-round picks better than us,” Hopkins said with a laugh on Wednesday, via video from Katherine Fitzgerald of the Arizona Republic. “I would like to see a first-round pick who could do what Julio and myself do.”

Having said that, Hopkins kind of conceded that receivers being drafted now have good skillsets — including one candidate for last season’s offensive rookie of the year award. But Hopkins, who was the 27th overall pick in 2013, knows his own value.

“The receiver groups coming out of college are a little bit more advanced than I was back in my days, even though I only had like however many touchdowns — 15 or so touchdowns,” Hopkins said (he had 18 TDs in 13 games his final year at Clemson, so “only” is relative). “You know, you’ve got guys like Justin Jefferson who came in balling as a rookie. So there’s definitely some guys that can do what Julio and myself do.

“But I’m surprised. Shoot, Julio — I know I was only coming off a first-team All-Pro, so I kind of figured I might only go for a second-round [pick]. But I was surprised a guy like Julio would only go for a second rounder.”

It’s worth noting that contracts play into these trades, and that’s a big part of why Atlanta wasn’t able to squeeze a first-round pick out of Tennessee. The Titans agreed to take on Jones’ full contract, which includes a $15.3 million fully guaranteed base salary in 2021 and another $2 million guaranteed in 2022.

But generally, Hopkins is right that there are few receivers of his and Jones’ caliber in the league right now.

12 responses to “DeAndre Hopkins: I would like to see a first-round pick do what Julio Jones and I do

  1. Julio Jones has 3 years in the tank left in him. A first rounder could have 10 to 15 years in him. Its strange that this needs to be explained to NFL players.

  2. Collect $18M+/year?

    You’re right, I have yet to see a rookie WR do that.

  3. Knew it wouldn’t be long before one of these guys started crying about why they weren’t traded for 1st round picks.
    Considering they both got what they wanted… off the teams they were on & where they wanted to go… one wonders why they care what their new teams paid for them.

  4. The thing is: you KNOW they are worth a second round pick, and very reasonably way more than that.
    A first round rookie is a viability, less financially than they used to be, but still… they are far from being a smart investment compared to Julio and D-Hop.

  5. while i see his point, if you divided their yards/TDs into DeAndre and Julio’s $15m and $25m salary, the stellar 1st rounder with their $4m deal is going to get a lot more bang for their buck!

  6. Dippy Diva talk.

    Lighten up, Francis.

    Forget the silly distractions and Focus on winning a Super Bowl, or 2.

  7. hopkins and jones have far more left in the tank than some likey first round bust.

  8. Draft picks are about “value” not a ranking of skill. Your value is composed of:

    Physical talent
    Football skill
    Ability to learn
    Ability to work in groups
    Dollar cost to have on team
    Expected length of career with team

    All of these combine together to form value for the GM. julio and Hopkins are defintely higher ranked in skill than a college kid, but the college kid outscores them in some categories.

  9. The goal is to win a super bowl, and teams should be spending their first round picks trying to get a Lombardi. WR’s are fun to watch, but even the best of the best don’t contribute to the wins column. They’re just a luxury. It’s a QB league, and then you build your defense. After that, you need a solid offensive line. WR is way down the list. But like I said, they’re fun to watch, but so are RB’s. They just don’t figure much when you’re trying to build a championship team. I don’t expect a WR to admit that. Why should they? They’re trying to find a team that’s willing to spend big bucks on a non-essential player.

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