Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins stole the show in an overtime win over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. The rookie out of Clemson caught a 25-yard pass from Matt Schaub in overtime that set the Texans up near the goal line and then snagged a game-winning touchdown from three yards out. He finished the day with seven catches for 117 yards to go along with the all-important score.
The Texans have high hopes for the rookie, who apparently has even higher hopes for himself. After his breakout performance, Hopkins said he believes he can be better than Andre Johnson.
“I feel like I can be better than Andre,” Hopkins told the Texans’ official website. “That’s my mindset. And that’s what Andre tells me. (He says) Don’t try to shadow yourself when you know you can be better.”
We’re talking about a rookie here. Johnson has been one of the most dominant receivers in the NFL throughout his 10-plus year career. Hopkins proved to be a capable fill-in when Johnson left with a concussion on Sunday, but it’s usually a better approach for rookies to not compare themselves to perennial All-Stars.
Houston would not have spent a first-round pick on Hopkins if it did not believe he could be the receiver of the future. Johnson is 32 and has a long history of injuries, so Thompkins could be called upon to be that guy sooner rather than later. However, it will take a lot more than one great performance for us to even consider that he might enjoy the same type of career as Andre.