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2013 NFL mock draft: DeAndre Hopkins to Houston Texans

Might Andre Johnson finally get a legitimate running mate this year?

Joshua S. Kelly-US PRESSWIRE

How many consecutive years now has it been that brilliant (and not-so-brilliant) NFL observers have pointed out that the Houston Texans could use an upgrade at wide receiver across from Andre Johnson? We've lost count. Mercifully, however, the odds are looking better than ever that the streak will end in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Team Player Position Height Weight Class
27. Houston Texans DeAndre Hopkins WR 6'1" 214 JR

Brett Kollman: "Sheldon Richardson is a Giant, Arthur Brown is a Bear, Datone Jones is a Colt, and Tyler Eifert is a Packer, leaving the list of players that could justifiably taken before a wideout pretty thin. Kawann Short was considered for this pick as a penetrating one-gap nose tackle, and both Alex Okafor and Damontre Moore were tossed around as potential high picks at outside linebacker/defensive end (allowing Brooks Reed to go inside) for the fourth draft in the last five years. If this mock were made reality I would not be shocked if the Texans front office tried to trade back into the second round, but I could also easily see Rick Smith finally answering the arguably the biggest question on the team - wide receiver. That answer, of course, would be DeAndre Hopkins.

"The Texans offense revolves around three things: blocking for Arian Foster, beating man coverage when the safeties start cheating against the run game, and catching tough passes over the middle off of naked bootlegs. Andre Johnson had career yardage numbers in 2012 hauling in almost 1,600 yards off of the Texans’ famed play action attack, and Owen Daniels left his mark all over the NFL’s linebacking corps (I’m looking at you, Rey Maualuga), but Matt Schaub had little else to work with in the 2nd and long situations that Houston always seemed to find itself in. Despite Devier Posey showing loads of promise toward the end of the season and regularly being the Texans’ most "open" receiver on any given play, his achilles tear in the playoffs almost guarantees he will start the 2013 on the PUP list. Behind Johnson, there is now almost zero functional depth if Posey cannot return for the start of the season.

"Hopkins could step in from day one as Johnson’s complementary receiver to provide the kind of chain moving, body control, magical sticky-hands catches that Posey flashed in December and January, while also serving as a potential long-term successor to the Great One himself. If the Texans want to be able to beat the best teams in the AFC, then they must be able to score with the best teams in the AFC. With the addition of Hopkins, Houston would easily have enough firepower to keep up with any other challenger in their conference."

Here's our own Dan Kadar to break down the pick:

It’s hard to add little more analysis than what you just read. It perfectly sums up why this is a great choice. Hopkins is our top-rated wide receiver because he can get open easier than the other wide outs in this class and has the best hands. He could be the Roddy White to Andre Johnson’s Julio Jones. Hopkins is that good.

The 2013 SB Nation NFL writers' mock draft continues tomorrow morning at 9AM when the Denver Broncos (and the new-look Mile High Report) make their pick.

Top 5 players remaining

# Player Pos. College Ht. Wt.
20 D.J. Fluker * OT Alabama 6'5" 339
22 Damontre Moore OLB Texas A&M 6'5" 250
23 Cornelius Carradine DE Florida State 6'4" 276
24 Keenan Allen * WR California 6'2" 206
27 Barrett Jones C Alabama 6'4" 305

2013 SB Nation NFL writers' mock draft results

No. Team Player Pos. College
1 Kansas City Chiefs Luke Joeckel OT Texas A&M
2 Jacksonville Jaguars Geno Smith QB West Virginia
3 Oakland Raiders Sharrif Floyd DT Florida
4 Philadelphia Eagles Eric Fisher OT Central Michigan
5 Detroit Lions Ezekiel Ansah DE BYU
6 Cleveland Browns Dion Jordan OLB Oregon
7 Arizona Cardinals Barkevious Mingo OLB LSU
8 Buffalo Bills Jarvis Jones OLB Georgia
9 New York Jets Chance Warmack OG Alabama
10 Tennessee Titans Dee Milliner CB Alabama
11 San Diego Chargers Star Lotulelei DT Utah
12 Miami Dolphins Desmond Trufant CB Washington
13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Xavier Rhodes CB Florida State
14 Carolina Panthers Lane Johnson OT Oklahoma
15 New Orleans Saints Alec Ogletree LB Georgia
16 St. Louis Rams Tavon Austin WR West Virginia
17 Pittsburgh Steelers Cordarrelle Patterson WR Tennessee
18 Dallas Cowboys Jonathan Cooper OG North Carolina
19 New York Giants Sheldon Richardson DT Missouri
20 Chicago Bears Arthur Brown LB Kansas State
21 Cincinnati Bengals Kenny Vaccaro S Texas
22 St. Louis Rams Jonathan Cyprien S Florida International
23 Minnesota Vikings Bjoern Werner DE Florida State
24 Indianapolis Colts Datone Jones DE UCLA
25 Minnesota Vikings Johnathan Hankins DT Ohio State
26 Green Bay Packers Tyler Eifert TE Notre Dame
27 Houston Texans DeAndre Hopkins WR Clemson