STRENGTHS - Hopkins shows the ability to get off the line quickly and is a very good route runner. He is able to plant his feet well and make crisp cuts, combine that with his head fakes he is able to freeze the defender long enough to give the QB a window to throw into. Hopkins has extremely strong hands and very good ball skills and his ability to catch the pass in traffic is terrific. Hopkins will grab the ball out of the air enabling him the opportunity to gain more yards after the catch as he shows excellent awareness on the field and tends to have already planned out where he is going to go with the football after he makes the grab. Hopkins is a physical and willing blocker, giving the ball carrier more space in the open field.
WEAKNESSES - Hopkins does not have the explosiveness at the line of scrimmage to create a lot of separation from the start. He does not show the explosiveness down the field to be the home run hitter that teams covet for their #1 receiver. There were times in the games that I evaluated that he tried to gain more yards than the defense was willing to give him and instead of gaining more positive yards he would back track a bit and loss yards.
SUMMARY - Hopkins' athleticism and ability to catch the ball will make him a very dangerous receiver in the NFL. He has solid route running skills, uses the head fake and his footwork nicely giving him enough separation from the defender to give himself space for the QB to get him the ball. While he won't be a guy that will beat you deep and create a lot of separation from the DB's, he will be a guy that will make the tough catches in traffic and will take the ball away from the defender on poorly thrown balls with his strong hands. After making the catch he shows the awareness of where he is on the field and where the defenders are on the field and knows where he wants to go as soon as he makes the grab. He uses the head fake and cutback to his advantage to freeze the defender enabling him to gain more YAC. Hopkins also shows his worth with his physical and willingness to block in open space and does so very well. He shows good technique without penalty and has the ability to drive his legs push the defender to create more field space for the ball carrier. Hopkins has the potential to be a very dangerous receiver in the NFL and if he were to ever be able to create more separation and become more of a home run hitter, he will have an opportunity to be one of the top NFL receiver. Overall, Hopkins grades as a mid / late 1st Round Pick or early 2nd Round pick. .