DeAndre Hopkins has put behind him a rookie year filled with adversity and loss. This week, he finishes up his first voluntary veterans minicamp. Hopkins has taken the changes this offseason in stride and head coach Bill O'Brien says the young receiver has been working hard at learning his job.
Just one year ago, Hopkins was selected in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He says he now feels like more of a veteran than a rookie. Now, he can empathize with this year's prospects who have less than 24 hours remaining until they know where they land in the NFL.
"Of course it's an emotional time," Hopkins said Wednesday. "You're capable and you're able to do what you love on another level. Being in college and being able to take care of your family and go out and represent a great city, it's a blessing."
Last year, Hopkins watched his draft from his home with family. He was prepared to work hard for the team drafted him no matter what round his name was called.
"I was nervous but once it got down to Draft Day, I prayed about it but I really wasn't worried too much about it," Hopkins said. "If I went first round or seventh round, I was going to come in prepared to play no matter where I went."