By Mark Gaughan
Position: Wide receiver.
Measurements: 6-foot-1, 214 pounds
40 time: 4.57 seconds. Vertical jump: 36 inches. Broad jump: 9 feet, 8 inches
2012 stats: 82 catches, 1,405 yards, 18 TDs
Draft projection: Second round
Lowdown: Hopkins is an outside receiver with decent size and outstanding production. He’s the kind of player the Buffalo Bills could be looking for if they want a receiver in the second round. Hopkins draws comparisons to Atlanta’s Roddy White. He’s a superb athlete who creates separation, has strong hands and can go up and get the ball. He’s tough, too. He’s willing to block. A South Carolina native, he was a first-team all-state high schooler twice in football and three times in basketball. He spent time on the Clemson hoops team after each of his first two college football seasons. As a true freshman in 2010, he had team-high 52 catches for 637 yards. In 2011, he had 72 catches for 978 yards and five TDs. Then he had a monster year in 2012. In three career bowl games, he had 32 catches for 403 yards. If he is passed over in the first round it might only be because his 40 time wasn’t blazing. His nickname is “Nuk,” and it comes from his affinity for a certain brand of pacifier as a toddler. Tigers fans in Death Valley chanted “Nuuuk” after every one of his catches.
He said it: “Hopkins, to me, is intriguing, very smooth, good hands,” said Mike Mayock, NFL Network analyst. “I've got him as a mid- to late second-round player. His bowl game I watched, it was fun. He made an awful lot of plays and he's good with the ball in his hands after the catch.”
The Buffalo News is profiling 50 prospects in 50 days leading up to next month's NFL Draft.
tagged2013 draft | Road to the Draft