“I really think I’m the best,” Hopkins said on Thursday at the Jalen & Jacoby Show, according to ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss. “I know I am the best. Mike is my boy. I love [Saints wide receiver] Michael [Thomas] … But he knows if I’ve had Drew Brees my entire career what those numbers would be. [Falcons wide receiver] Julio Jones knows if I’ve had Matt Ryan my entire career. He’s my boy. I also trained with Julio. He knows what those numbers would be. ”From 2013 to 2016, Hopkins never missed a game, but his production was inconsistent. He made the Pro Bowl in his third season in 2015, scoring 1,521 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns, but then went on to have a relatively disappointing 2016 season in which he got 954 yards and four scores.
Deshaun Watson arrived in 2017 and was easily the best quarterback Hopkins has played with, but he only started six games as a freshman after injuring his knee. In total, the Texans presented 10 different starting quarters from 2013 to 2017: Brock Osweiler (14 starts), Ryan Fitzpatrick (12), Case Keenum (10), Tom Savage (new), Brian Hoyer (new), Matt Schaub (eight), Ryan Mallett (six), Watson (six), TJ Yates (five) and Brandon Weeden (one).
This level of turbulence in the quarterback is very different from the stability of the quarterback which the receivers mentioned by Hopkins – Michael Thomas and Julio Jones – took advantage of.
“These guys are really blessed to be in a position where, throughout their careers, they have had a Pro Bowl quarterback – quarterback with whom they have spent several seasons. But I don’t complain. I don’t apologize. I go there and work. “
In the past two seasons, when Watson has made 31 starts, Hopkins has captured 219 combined passes for 2,737 yards and 18 touchdowns. He looks forward to developing a rapport with second-year quarterback Kyler Murray, last year’s offensive rookie of the AP year.
“Getting into this situation with a guy, a young quarterback, who I know will be my quarterback for the future, is great,” said Hopkins. “We are capable of building chemistry, and I hope I can play more than three seasons with a quarterback. I don’t think I’ve done this yet. So I’m just excited to see how I can play with a regular quarterback. “
Last season, Larry Fitzgerald led the Cardinals in receptions (75) and yards (804), and tied for the game with four touchdown passes. Second-year scout Christian Kirk had 68 catches for 709 yards and three touchdowns.
“We have other great receivers out there – Christian Kirk, Larry Fitzgerald and a lot of other guys out there,” said Hopkins. “But I really see myself having one of my most productive seasons. “