If you’re searching for a potential high value target for the Vikings at #25 – after they’ve drafted a linebacker at #23 – look no further than DeAndre Hopkins of Clemson. Read this scouting report snippet from CBSSports.com and tell me you’re not highly intrigued.
Nice job catching the ball in stride and immediately creating after the catch with a very good sense of his surroundings, always appearing to have a plan. Deceiving body strength and powers through arm tackles, playing with toughness.
Strong hands with above average body control and focus to highpoint and attack the ball in the air. Tracks the deep ball and shows a second gear to separate at the final moment and finish. Very good short-area burst in his cuts with some beautiful stop-and-go moves and route acceleration to create room.
Or this from Shutdown Corner:
Outstanding boundary receiver who will bring in sideline routes and end zone fades with defenders on him. Consistently high-points catches and comes down with the ball — 36-inch vertical leap was one of the highest among receivers at the combine, and that shows up on tape. Adjusts to the ball well in the air and will lay out to make the catch. Practiced at feigning routes and turning on a dime — would seem a natural in any system with heavy option route designs (think New England).
Is this guy a speed burner? No. And he isn’t the biggest guy in the world either. But according to the scouts he plays bigger than his size. He may not be a track star but he can go up and get the ball. He also is a hard worker. He doesn’t stand out in any one area necessarily but has a nice combination of attributes. He’s like Keenan Allen that way. Allen has the advantage in size but that’s the only place where there’s any real separation between the two. Otherwise I think it’s a toss up between Allen and Hopkins.
One last bit from the CBSSports.com scouting report:
Compares to: Reggie Wayne, WR, Indianapolis Colts – Like Wayne, Hopkins isn’t the biggest or fastest, but he’s able to manipulate his routes to create separation and is a reliable pass catcher with the body control, focus and competitive nature to finish. And like Wayne (30th pick in the 2001 NFL Draft), Hopkins will likely fall out of the top-25 picks and prove to be an excellent value in the late first or early second round.
Well if the Vikings take him he won’t be falling out of the top 25. And I think this is a guy they should definitely look at. I’d take the next Reggie Wayne, how about you?