DeAndre “Nuk” Hopkins, 25, is a wide receiver for the Houston Texans taken in the first round (27th pick) of the 2013 NFL Draft. When Hopkins was an infant, his mother nicknamed him Nuk because the only brand of pacifier he wanted was “Nuk.” The nickname has since stayed with him to this day. However, if you actually watch DeAndre play, you can say his play is that much like of a nuke. He explodes in the air and off of his routes to get and catch the ball. He’s like a human nuke himself when exploding and bursting to the ball. He makes a lot of sure catches and is one of the best in the league at catching in traffic. He has huge hands, so he makes one-handed catches look simple. Nuk is at the top of the league of elite number 1 receivers on teams.
Since being drafted in 2013, DeAndre has blossomed into one of the NFL’s most polished, young and dominant receivers. He requires a lot of double teams from most defenses and that is mad respect for him already this early in his career. He has huge shoes to fill after The Texans all-time leading wide receiver Andre Johnson was released in 2015. He so far has done a great job of filling those shoes after also benefitting from playing 2 seasons with Johnson himself. DeAndre is loyal and wants to stay in Houston has he has stated multiple times. His production is there every year despite the shaky Quarterback play Houston usually endures and goes through each year. He has had 75 catches or more each of the last 3 seasons, after a 52 catch season rookie season campaign in 2013. He had 11 catches in 2015 with 4 different starting Qb’s! His yards and TD’s varies each year, but he has had over 1,000 yards receiving in a season twice already. He has made a constant improvement each year while maintaining at least a 12 yard per catch average yearly.
DeAndre is in the last year of his rookie contract and has expressed how he wants to stay in Houston because the Texans management took a chance on him and believed in him when they drafted him. He held out for 1 day last year in 2016 on the first day of Training Camp in pursuit of a new contract and extension. He was fined 40K, and only held out 1 day and has maintained very professional since then while producing in 2016 despite the very poor play of starting Quarterback Brock Osweiler. DeAndre is very faithful to this team and only wants to stay in Houston. I feel and hope the Texans get a deal done with him soon, preferably before training camp to show him he is worth the work he has put in for the Texans. The average salary per year right now for a top/star receiver in the league is between 11 million and 17 million a year annually. Hopkins will fall in between that range and he fully deserves the pay increase for his services! This man deserves an extension and to stay long term in Houston, pay him what he deserves!
Die-hard Sports fan/nerd born and raised in Houston, TX! I love any Houston team and mainly follow the Texans, Astros, and Rockets. Follow my twitter @TFoRTLeW. I also run a sports podcast with my good friend Noah!