"You are going to have a long day, I'm going to tell you that right now."
Those are the words of Carolina Panthers cornerback Josh Norman, as the All-Pro was asked about the skill and talent of Texans wide out DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins, who was third in the National Football League in catches a season ago, was named the NFL's 19th best player during the NFL Network's 'Top 100' show on Wednesday night. The list, which is chosen by the league's players, is in the process of being unveiled over the course of several episodes.
The third-year wide out from Clemson made one of the biggest jumps among the Top 100, as he climbed from unranked a year ago to number 19 after a stellar 2015 season. Hopkins became the second wide receiver (Isaac Bruce, 1995) in NFL history at age 23-or-younger with 1,500 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns in a season and is the only NFL player with four 100-yard receiving games under four different quarterbacks in the same season. He also averaged an impressive 13.7 yards per catch and hauled in a team-high 19 passes of 20 yards or more.
During Hopkins highlight reel on the show, several NFL players and coaches chimed in on his game breaking ability. "Man, that Hopkins kid is a stud now," added Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan. Fellow teammate Charles James shared his favorite Hopkins catch from 2015, a 22-yard touchdown grab against Cincinnati that ended up being the game winner. Norman added, "When he goes over the top of guys, you can see the ball skills that he has are just freakish. He makes plays, he makes plays no matter what."
Hopkins is looking to build off last year's success, and has taken a bigger leadership role among the team's wide receivers. "Being a leader in that room, helping guys out, I'm here for advice," he recent said during veteran minicamp.
Norman added a final though on what the future could hold for 'Nuk. "I think he'll be here for a long, long time. My hat is off to him."
WR DeAndre Hopkins represented Team Irvin in the 2016 NFL Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium.