RTC: Hopkins primed to make a leap

Reading the coverage of the Houston Texans...

NFL.com is counting down 25 players they think are primed to make a big leap this season. No. 14 on the list is Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins, entering his second NFL season, writes Chris Wesseling. "What stands out on Game Rewind are Hopkins' ball skills and catch radius that allow him to consistently come down with contested catches. Reminiscent of Brandon Lloyd, his bread and butter is a contortionist act on the sidelines and in the end zone. He boasts huge, strong hands and plays with a physicality rarely seen in greenhorn receivers. And you can see in the 47-yard scamper below, he also has a suddenness after the catch that the Texans didn't fully exploit in 2013."

Patrick D. Starr of StateoftheTexans.com gives his review of the Texans' rookies at this point in the offseason. He thinks Alfred Blue is capable of overtaking Andre Brown as the Texans' second running back. "Low mileage for a college running back, Alfred Blue comes to the Texans with little wear and tear on his body and could be the diamond in the rough of this draft class. He runs smooth and for his 6-2 and 223 lb frame he catches the ball with no issues. He will get his induction into the NFL when he has to run inside the tackles but he could be a factor in the passing game as a situational piece. Seeing him in minicamps, he had a steady progression of improving all the way up until the final day of practices. Blue, to us, has everything needed to unseat Andre Brown as the second running back on the depth chart. It is early but more will be known as training camp starts."

Stephen Forsha of ToroTimes.com takes a look at the Texans' kicker battle. He also goes through incumbent kicker Randy Bullock's numbers and also breaks down rookie Chris Boswell's numbers.

Texans left tackle said Duane Brown said Andre Johnson's absence hasn't been a distraction, writes Dave Zangaro of CSNHouston.com. Brown also empathizes with right tackle Derek Newton's progression. “I went through the same things coming into my third, fourth year,” Brown said. “You can take a while to develop and I think he’s really come into this season with the right state of mind. He’s working his tail off, and he’s looked pretty good so far.”