First-round pick DeAndre Hopkins did not disappoint in his NFL debut. In the Texans preseason opening game in Minnesota, the much-talked about rookie wide receiver scored the first touchdown of the Texans 27-13 win. Hopkins' catch capped off a drive that lasted 6:02 in the second quarter and covered 85 yards on 12 plays. Hopkins leaped up for a 34-yard touchdown pass from T.J. Yates on third down. Yates, who was lined up out of the shotgun, fired the pass off to the deep right side of the end zone.
Hopkins said he knew the coverage was man-to-man but just trusted in himself that he could make the play.
"T.J. put the ball where it needed to be," Hopkins said after the game. "I have to give all of the thanks to my quarterback. He put it where it need to be and I came down with the play."
Yates also knew that Hopkins was capable of making the big play based on his performance in training camp.
"He's shown to everybody all camp long that he will go up and get that ball for you," Yates said of Hopkins. "Luckily we got the right coverage, and I just threw it up and he made a heck of a play."
Other than a short four-yard pass from Matt Schaub in the first series of the game, the rest of Hopkins' receptions were thrown by backup quarterback T.J. Yates. Hopkins ended the game with four catches for 52 yards and his first NFL touchdown. Head coach Gary Kubiak expects more great plays from the first-round draft pick.
"He's been doing that all camp, and if you give him a chance, he'll develop," Kubiak said Friday night. "He might have had a couple more if we gave him the ball. He might have made better plays, but that's why he's here. And it's just fun to watch all these young players do great things."
The Hopkins' catch also received some national attention as it was named the number one play on ESPN's "Top Ten Plays" on Friday night.