Any number of positive adjectives can describe DeAndre Hopkins in 2017.
But according to Bill O'Brien, "All-Pro" is one of the most fitting.
"I don't think there's any doubt about that," the head coach said during a Monday press conference. "The type of year he's had, with different quarterbacks, the catches that he's made. Just look at his third down production. I think he's the best receiver in the League."
Hopkins pulled in four catches for 80 yards and a touchdown during Sunday's loss at Jacksonville. It was a hard-fought afternoon for the 5th year receiver, who battled one of the game's best in cornerback Jalen Ramsey. The Texans' lone score of the game came in the third quarter when Hopkins extended to make another acrobatic catch for a touchdown.
"Look at the touchdown catch he had yesterday: what an incredible catch," O'Brien said. "In a brutal, terrible game for us, that was a great catch that he got his hand underneath and controlled it. That catch survived the ground, and it was a full out dive for the catch."
As a team, the Texans have stumbled over the latter half of the season, dropping seven of their last eight. But regardless of who's thrown him the ball--from Deshaun Watson to Tom Savage to T.J. Yates--Hopkins has produced.
He's pumped out 11 games with 70 receiving yards or more. He's caught seven or more passes in nine games. He's been targeted 168 times. And most importantly, he's scored, catching 12 touchdowns this year. Hopkins leads the League in those four categories, and is tied with Antonio Brown for the NFL lead in catches of 25 yards or more with 16.
In four other categories--receiving yards, receiving yards per game, receiving first downs, and fourth quarter receiving yards, he's second in the NFL to Brown.
All-Pro voting will soon commence for the Associated Press, and O'Brien explained the importance of making that exclusive team.
"That's the one I look at, and that's the one he should be on," O'Brien said.
Hopkins and the Texans still have two games remaining in 2017, but according to @TexansPR, Hopkins is one of just six players in NFL history with 92-plus catches for 1,310-plus yards and 12 or more touchdowns through the first 14 games of a season.
|CATEGORY||HOPKINS *||NFL RANK||NFL LEADER*|
|70-yd rec. games||11||1st||Hopkins|
|Rec. of 25 yds||16||T-1st||Hopkins/A.Brown|
|Rec. yds||1,313||2nd||A. Brown|
|Rec. yds/gm||93.8||2nd||A. Brown|
|Rec. 1st downs||66||2nd||A. Brown|
|4th Q rec. yds||426||2nd||A. Brown|