DeAndre Hopkins makes all-rookie team

January, 7, 2014
Jan 7
1:00
PM ET
It's difficult to assess wide receivers when a team's quarterback situation is as scrambled as the Texans' was this past season.

Rhythm and chemistry matter, as does the passer's ability to find his targets, just as much as the receiver's ability.

Hopkins
Even with that, Texans rookie receiver DeAndre Hopkins showed his potential. Hopkins' 52-catch, 802-yard season earned him a spot on Mel Kiper Jr.'s All-Rookie Team. Kiper offers his selections and explanations for them here. Another receiver -- San Diego's Keenan Allen -- was named offensive rookie of the year.

There were plenty of problems with the Texans' 2013 draft, which we'll talk about soon, but the top two picks weren't among them. Hopkins and second-round pick D.J. Swearinger both have some things to clean up; you'll recall Swearinger's penalty spike late in the season and Hopkins being benched for running a wrong route against the Oakland Raiders. But the two South Carolina natives can be solid pieces for the Texans going forward.

Hopkins said the right things near the end of the Texans' 2-14 debacle, saying he judged his own play by the team's record. He talked about how much he had learned from Andre Johnson and how valuable that would be for his career.

A draft class is more than its first pick, but you can't build a successful roster without hitting on them. The Texans' last six first-round picks are all still with the team: Hopkins, outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus, defensive end J.J. Watt, cornerback Kareem Jackson, inside linebacker Brian Cushing and left tackle Duane Brown.

Watt, Cushing, Brown and Jackson (though it took time for him to grow into it) all turned into important pieces on the Texans' roster. Mercilus had a rough second season, but it's too early in his career to make a judgment about his future.

Similarly, it's too early in Hopkins' career to make a judgment about his future. All we know is that it's off to a good start.

Tania Ganguli

ESPN Houston Texans reporter

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