PROS: Smooth, fluid route runner that runs and fairly advanced route tree. Easy in and out of horizontal breaks and his vertical cuts are seamless. I like his pace and lean throughout his release and stem. Does well to adjust and find soft spots in zones. Ball tracking skills are impressive, particularly over the shoulder. Makes his share of challenging grabs through contact in contested situations. Gives great effort as an in-line blocker and is deliberate with his technique. Brings the fight as a blocker on the move or when tasked with leading into gaps. Competitive worker after the catch. Outstanding production that improved every year in college.
CONS: Positional blocker that doesn’t have ideal mass or functional strength to truly widen rush lanes inline. Hands fail him and his drop rate is concerning. Struggles to dig out low throws. Needs to become more consistent with his hand alignment when greeting the football on arrival. More of a zone-busting tight end that didn’t find the same degree of success creating separation when working against man coverage.
BEST TRAIT - Route Running
WORST TRAIT - In-Line Blocking
RED FLAGS - None
NFL COMP - Jared Cook
Despite being the son of former Tennessee Titans offensive lineman Brad Hopkins who started in the NFL for 13 seasons, Brycen Hopkins didn’t start playing football until he reached high school. Hopkins enjoyed a prolific career at Purdue, racking up 130 receptions for 1,945 yards and 16 touchdowns across four seasons with increased production every year. While his hands must become more consistent, Hopkins profiles nicely as a receiving threat at the next level. His route running skills are advanced and he has excellent ball skills. While he lacks the mass and power to be an impact blocker, Hopkins demonstrates great effort and brings the fight on every rep. Hopkins does have the upside to start in the NFL and at a minimum should be a quality No. 2 option that thrives in 12 personnel sets.