Clemson, S.C.—Former Clemson wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins has been ranked as the 19th best player in the NFL for the upcoming 2016 season according to a vote of active NFL players. He is the second Clemson wide receiver to be ranked in the top 100. Earlier Sammy Watkins was ranked No. 96 among all the players in the league. The NFL Network released players ranked 11-20 on Wednesday night.
Hopkins had not been ranked after his first two seasons, but jumped all the way to the top 20 after his Pro Bowl season of 2015.
Last year when he was named a second-team All-Pro selection by the Associated Press, Hopkins had 111 receptions for 1521 yards and 11 touchdowns. His reception total and yardage total was third best in the league and his touchdown total set a Houston Texans club record. He became the first receiver in NFL history to have a 100-yard receiving game from four different quarterbacks in the same year.
For his three NFL seasons he has 239 receptions for 3533 yards and 19 touchdowns. The statistics are nearly identical to his three-year career stats at Clemson, which included 206 receptions for 3020 yards and 27 touchdowns.
Hopkins started for Clemson from 2010-12. That included Clemson’s ACC Championship season of 2011 and the 2012 season when the Tigers finished in the top 10 after a Chick-fil-A Bowl win over LSU. Hopkins made a key catch in that game in the fourth quarter on a reception from Tajh Boyd that converted a fourth-and-16 situation.
Hopkins had 82 catches for 1405 yards and a school record 18 touchdowns in 2012. He had at least one touchdown catch in each of the last 10 games that season and he ranked second in the nation in touchdown catches. His 1405 receiving yards led the ACC.
Watkins just finished his second year with the Buffalo Bills. He is Clemson’s career leader in receptions with 240 in just three years. He is also the school record holder in receiving yards with 3391 and is tied with Hopkins with 27 career touchdown receptions.
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