Texans say Hopkins wears DBs out

The spot opposite Andre Johnson on the Houston Texans' depth chart is DeAndre Hopkins' for the taking.

The Clemson wide receiver was the 27th pick in the draft and the Texans’ first rounder.

Receiver was their biggest need. He’s the first first-round pick used on offense since left tackle Duane Brown was drafted in 2008 and just the second since Johnson was taken in 2003.

Kevin Walter was cut for a combination of salary cap savings and lack of explosion and DeVier Posey, who was emerging at the end of last year, tore an Achilles tendon in the playoff loss at New England.

In search of an additional dynamic threat that would make them rely less on Johnson, the Texans needed a player with enough experience to be able to contribute right away.

Hopkins started for three years at Clemson. While he’s not a blazer, with 4.51 speed, he is regarded as a fine route-runner with good size (6-foot-1, 214 pounds) and body control.

"He’s going to catch the ball when it’s in his zip code,” Texans offensive coordinator Rick Dennison said in Houston. “That’s the thing I like about him."

Dennison also said Hopkins is fast enough to beat defensive backs and wears them out.

That sounds like the right formula for the Texans, who still need linebacker help and could also look at a nose tackle, a safety and an offensive tackle Friday night.