BWTB: Comparing 'Dre and Nuk

Andre Johnson is the greatest player in Texans history.

Four years into a brilliant career, defensive end J.J. Watt is nipping at his heels, fresh off winning a second Defensive Player of the Year award.

But down the line, there's a chance receiver DeAndre Hopkins could enter the discussion.

In year two as a pro, Hopkins finished with 1,210 receiving yards on 76 catches, good for nearly 16 yards per grab. He also hauled in six touchdowns and had a dozen receptions that went for 25 yards or more.

But how does that stack up against Johnson?

We put together this table with a few key receiving stats, comparing the two players after their first two seasons in the NFL.

JOHNSON & HOPKINS IN 1ST 2 SEASONS

YDS REC TD YPG YAC 25 YPC
JOHNSON 2,118 145 10 66.2 934 25 14.6
HOPKINS 2,012 128 8 62.9 574 21 15.7

It's fascinating how similar the stats are. Johnson has a slight edge across the board in all but two categories: yards after the catch (YAC) and yards per catch (YPC). In the former, he has 360 more than Hopkins. In the latter statistic, Hopkins is a yard better per catch than his teammate.

Also interesting to note is who threw the balls each receiver's way. In 2003 and 2004 for Johnson, David Carr was under center for the Texans in 28 of those 32 games. Tony Banks also appeared in 12 games during that span, but attempted just a pair of passes in five 2004 contests. Dave Ragone also was a factor in a pair of 2003 games, attempting 40 passes in Johnson's rookie season.

Hopkins, meanwhile, has seen a carousel of quarterbacks in 2013 and 2014. His rookie season began with long-time starter Matt Schaub. In Week 7 of that year, Case Keenum took over. Sprinkle in 22 pass attempts in three games from T.J. Yates, and Hopkins saw a trio of signal-callers as a rookie.

In 2014, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Mallett, Tom Savage and Keenum all took meaningful snaps at quarterback.

Johnson has mentioned on several occassions that Hopkins' future is bright. If the numbers above are any indication, number 80 may be on to something.

The latest Throwback Thursday looks at wide receiver Andre Johnson's football career from high school, to The U to the Texans.

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