DeAndre Hopkins is considered one of the best receivers in the NFL, but if the current Arizona Cardinals and former Houston Texans receiver had a more stable quarterback situation over the course of his career, he believes he’d unquestionably be considered the best pass catcher in the game. Hopkins appeared on a recent episode of the podcast Jalen and Jacoby, Austin Nivison of 247Sports wrote on Sunday, and the receiver talked about why he doesn’t get more credit as being the best in the league.
Hopkins was asked how he thinks he compares to the New Orleans Saints’ Michael Thomas and the Atlanta Falcons’ Julio Jones. He started off his response by saying he played against both players and then said if he had either of their quarterbacks, he’d be better than both.
“I played against both of those guys last year,” Hopkins said. “We beat the Falcons. Obviously, we lost to the Saints on a last-second field goal toward the end of regulation. I definitely think I’m the best. I know I’m the best.”
Hopkins added he’s friends with Thomas and that the two were texting over the weekend. He then said Thomas knows that if Hopkins had Drew Brees or Matt Ryan throwing to him, his numbers would have been even better than they already are. He also said both Jones and Thomas understand how blessed they are to have had Pro Bowl and Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks to play with. He then said despite the fact that he can’t say the same thing about his career, he doesn’t want to focus on that and complain.
The receiver pointed out that when he was on the Texans, the team won a division championship five out of seven years. He added that he thought every team in the division focused on drafting a defensive back that would be able to stop Hopkins. He also said the fact that he’s been named to the All-Pro team more than either Jones or Thomas shows he’s likely the better wideout. Hopkins has made the All-Pro team three times in his career. Jones and Thomas have made it twice each.
While Julio Jones and Michael Thomas have had the benefit of playing with Ryan and Brees for their entire careers, Hopkins has teamed up with a variety of quarterbacks, despite spending his entire career on the Texans before being traded to the Cardinals this offseason.
Matt Schaub, Case Keenum, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Mallett, Brian Hoyer, T.J. Yates, Brandon Weeden, Brock Osweiler, Tom Savage, and A.J. McCarron have all started games for the Texans since Hopkins joined the team. Deshaun Watson is the first quarterback for the franchise since David Carr in 2005 and 2006, to start at least 15 games in back-to-back seasons in 2018 and 2019.