DeAndre Hopkins, OBJ: Elite playmakers with different styles

Hopkins vs. OBJ: Who has the edge? (1:26)

The NFL Live crew breaks down which star wide receiver they would take, DeAndre Hopkins or Odell Beckham Jr. (1:26)

HOUSTON -- On Sunday, two of the NFL's best receivers will be on the same field when the Houston Texans play host to the New York Giants at NRG Stadium (1 p.m. ET, FOX).

DeAndre Hopkins and Odell Beckham Jr. have not yet played each other in the NFL, but Sunday offers a glimpse of two playmakers and their differing skill sets.

"I think they're both really good receivers," J.J. Watt said. "I know they both can catch anything you can throw their way. I know they both find a way to get open and find a way to make catches that 99 percent of people wouldn't be able to make.

"They're obviously special playmakers."

Though Beckham missed most of 2017 with an ankle injury, Hopkins had an impressive comeback season, especially lighting up the NFL in Deshaun Watson's six NFL starts. In 15 games, Hopkins had 96 catches for 1,378 yards and an NFL-leading 13 receiving touchdowns, as he re-established himself as one of football's best receivers, with four different quarterbacks throwing him the ball.

Now, Beckham is healthy, and Hopkins has continued to be Watson's go-to target. In a matchup of 0-2 teams, NRG Stadium figures to see some explosive offense during Week 3.

'There's nothing that he can't do'

Watson didn't even hesitate when he was asked what Hopkins does well.

"Everything," the young quarterback said. "There's nothing that he can't do."

Hopkins is a quarterback's best friend, and his quarterbacks -- he has competed with 10 in his NFL career -- know how much he can cover up any mistakes. Texans cornerback Aaron Colvin noted Hopkins' catch radius, saying that when there's a 50-50 ball -- either when he's going against Hopkins in practice or what he sees from the sideline during a game -- "Hop is usually the one who comes down with it."

ESPN NFL analyst Matt Bowen offered his take:

"If you put the ball near him, he's going to make the play," Bowen said of Hopkins. "And that's the toughest thing for a defensive back. You can have really tight coverage, you can be on his hip and do everything you're coached to do, and he's still going to make the play on you because he's so talented at catching the ball outside of his frame."

Because of his catch radius and his body control, Hopkins has been a valuable deep threat for the Texans. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, the sixth-year receiver has caught 38 percent of his targets 20-plus yards downfield for 19 touchdowns. He also has done an excellent job of holding onto the ball. Hopkins has been targeted 748 times and has only been credited with 12 drops (1.6 percent). By comparison, Beckham has had 19 drops on 517 targets (3.7 percent).

Giants head coach Pat Shurmur praised Hopkins' competitive nature and physicality, saying, "Aside from the fact he's got the skill and ability to be one of the top receivers in the league, I've really always been impressed by how hard he plays."

As Bowen added, "There's certain aspects of his game that you can't measure based on numbers or based on a stopwatch. You just have to watch him play. And when you watch him play, he can take over football games."

'Electric talent'

Though Hopkins has never played against Beckham in the NFL, he has certainly watched and admired the Giants wideout from afar.

"I think he's one of the best receivers in the NFL, besides myself," Hopkins said. "We make plays, no matter where the ball is. He's not the tallest; I'm not the tallest. But he does up and get it."

Texans head coach Bill O'Brien gave his observation of Beckham.

"He's a very strong player, great speed and quickness, so he has the combination," O'Brien said. "He has excellent hands, really good route runner. He can play inside, he can play outside.

"You're going to have to really understand where he's at, where he's located on every play. He's a great player."

While watching film this week and preparing for Beckham, veteran Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph said he has noticed how well the fifth-year player continues to make plays after he has made the catch.

"Obviously, he has great hands and can make the tough catch, but I think his run after the catch, that kind of separates him," Joseph said. "You have to put that in the game plan. You can't let him catch a screen and get going."

In his career, Beckham has averaged 5.2 yards after the catch, according to ESPN Stats & Information data. Since entering the NFL in 2014, Beckham has 33 receptions with at least 20 yards after the catch, which is tied with Detroit Lions receiver Golden Tate for the most in the NFL during that span.

"He runs every route, and he runs them well," Colvin said. "So you literally have to be on your job every single play. You can't take any plays off, because Eli [Manning]'s trying to find him.

"Not only do you have to compete when the ball's in the air, you have to compete if he catches the ball too. He imposes a lot of problems if you let him."

Bowen pointed out that Beckham doesn't have the size of Hopkins at the point of attack but does have the athleticism and body control to make a play on the ball.

"He can set defenders up and just take off on double moves within the routes," Bowen said. "He's a super-explosive guy that can really take the top off of any defense and score from anywhere on the football field.

"He is always a weapon to find the end zone because of that explosive play ability and that electric talent."

'You have to have an answer'

Though Hopkins and Beckham are different in size and skill set, it's clear both teams understand just how important it is to scheme for each wideout -- and not let them single-handedly beat you.

"[Beckham is] a guy that brings a lot excitement and juice to that team," Watson said. "Same with [Hopkins]. He does the same thing for our team. Great guy off the field and brings a lot of excitement and makes great plays for our team.

"They're just two of the best receivers in the game."

In two games this season, Hopkins has 14 catches for 188 yards and a touchdown. Beckham has 15 catches for 163 yards.

"They play a different style of game, but they're both high-volume guys and very productive guys that can win one-on-ones," Bowen said. "If you're not bracketing them on third down or inside the red zone, or you're going to be a zone team and you're not getting hands on them at the line of scrimmage with the safety over the top, you’re not doing your job as a coach.

"Because if you don't do those things, they're going to eat you up all day. You have to have an answer. Because if you don't take them out of the game or at least attempt to take them out of the game or make the quarterback go somewhere else, you're going to lose. You're going to get beat."