Image Credit: Purdue Athletics
Brycen Hopkins was a member of Purdue’s 2015 signing class from Nashville, Tennessee. After redshirting, he burst onto the scene, converting 40% of his catches into touchdowns. This led to the belief that Hopkins and fellow TE Cole Herdman would be a staple in Jeff Brohm’s offense. As a sophomore, his numbers – 25 catches for 349 yards and 3 TDs. In 2018, he again saw a role increase, catching 34 balls for 583 yards and 2 TDs. His senior year was a coming-out party – 61 catches for 830 yards and 7 TDs.
At Purdue, Brycen Hopkins established himself as one of the Big Ten’s premier tight ends, leading the conference in receiving yards for a tight end. He is very athletic – clocking as one of the top five fastest tight ends in the draft with a 33.5 inch vertical. Hopkins runs very crisp and clean routes, and is willing to go over the middle of the field and make difficult catches in traffic. He has good feel for soft spots in zone coverage. He is very durable – only missing one game at Purdue and played through sickness in 2019.
Most of Hopkins weaknesses are fixable under the right coaching. The offense Purdue ran led to questions about utilizing some of Hopkins’ abilities more, as they weren’t frequently shown.
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Hopkins can have trouble getting off of man to man coverage in some instances Hopkins was unable to break off of man to man coverage and was taken out of the play.
The Rams selected Hopkins in the fourth round. This is a good pick, as this team could use a playmaker at TE and they lack depth at the position. If he can work on his catching, Hopkins could become a consistent playmaker in the Rams explosive offense. While he may not become a star, Hopkins has the traits to be an above average player who can provide long-term stability at tight end. This team has struggled in the redzone and a big tight end like Hopkins could help them turn more drives into touchdowns. He also provides a nice third down option and could become a reliable third down target.