Games Evaluated: 2019 Vs: Maryland, Wisconsin, TCU
Report By: Ryan Lippert
Deep Speed: 7.20
Hopkins is a very good athlete for his position. He has loose, flexible hips which help him to change directions smoothly in his routes. His flexibility is also shown when going up to get jump balls as he has shown a high catch radius. Hopkins has very quick feet which is shown at the top of his routes and when making cuts/breaks in his routes. He also shows good contact balance when making catches in traffic. Another thing that helps him in the passing game is his deep speed which makes him very tough for linebackers to cover in the vertical passing game. As far as explosion goes, He is explosive at the start of his routes off the line of scrimmage but sometimes fails to show that same explosiveness as a blocker.
RECEIVING SKILLS: 7.22
Quicks Off LOS: 7.30
Route Running: 8.10
Yards After Contact: 7.00
Ball Security: 7.00
One thing that makes Hopkins special is that he is an excellent route runner. He ran a full route tree both from a true tight end position and out of the slot at Purdue. His quick feet helped him to get off the line of scrimmage with a sense of urgency and make sharp cuts/breaks in his routes in order to create separation. In the deep passing game, his impressive speed helps him create separation from linebackers in man coverage. As good of a route runner, as he is, it is all for nothing sometimes as he has very inconsistent hands. He doesn't do a great job of truly catching the ball with his hands and often relies on cradling the ball with his body or catching the ball after juggling it around. However, once he does bring in the catch, he does do a good job of taking on contact for extra yards and getting the ball tucked away and secured.
In-Line Runs: 5.50
Motion Runs: 6.00
Blocking In Space: 5.90
Pass Blocking: 6.00
Situational Awareness: 5.8
Hopkins is not a tight end that you are going to lineup and run the ball behind. When he has a full head of steam on motions or in space as a blocker, he does do a decent job of sealing off blocks but sometimes seems to get lost in the situation/scheme. There were multiple times on film where he either missed the defender completely or had to come to a stop to figure out who to block. As a pass blocker, he wasn't kept in much as a blocker as he was one of Purdue's top targets. When he was kept in, he did a decent job of staying in front of the defender but was bull-rushed into the quarterback by stronger edge rushers. As far as in-line runs go, he is not a tight end that I see being used in this situation as he struggled to get much movement on defensive ends out of a three-point stance on the line.
Consistency / Motor: 6.70
When you look at the production in the passing game, Hopkins had a very strong senior year in which he caught 61 passes for 830 yards and seven touchdowns. This was due to his ability to play out of the slot and run routes like a receiver. When you talk about his toughness, he isn't afraid to take on contact while making catches and wouldn't shy away from defenders as a blocker. However, his aggressiveness as a blocker wasn't enough to bring fear to defenders. He always seems to play with a high motor for the most part and compete but his inconsistency as both a pass-catcher and a blocker can be a cause of concern.
Hopkins was a versatile player in college from the standpoint that he could line up as a true tight end, H-back, and in the slot. However, he doesn't possess the strength as a blocker to be a reliable blocking tight end in the run game at the next level. As a receiver, he has good instincts when turning his head for the pass or going up for jump balls. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for him as a blocker as he got lost in space in blocking schemes frequently and didn't show awareness to come off his routes and turn into a blocker when the quarterback decided to take off and run. He does seem to learn well from his mistakes as he didn't make the same mistake twice in a row and always came back ready the next play after having a negative play.
Hopkins' biggest strength is definitely his route running. He can run a full route tree out of the slot which will help him find plenty of playing time in the passing game at the next level. His quickness helps him in his routes as he gets off the line of scrimmage with a nice initial burst and is able to use his quick feet to make breaks in his routes in order to create separation. Hopkins' deep speed will also help him at the next level as it will make it difficult for linebackers to stick with him in man coverage down the seam.
The main thing that worries me about Hopkins is his ability as a blocker. His lack of ability to get movement during in-line runs and his lack of awareness as a blocker in the open field will make it hard for coaches to trust him enough to keep him on the field during run situations. Another thing that he must work on is his inconsistency as a pass-catcher. His route running ability and speed are a great asset but none of that matters if his quarterback can't trust him to catch the ball.
Brycen Hopkins is an intriguing tight end prospect that showed improvement in each of his four seasons at Purdue. After redshirting his freshman year, he saw a small role in Purdue's offense in his second year on campus as he played in 11 games and finished with ten receptions for 183 yards and four touchdowns. He saw his role increase the next two seasons as he caught 25 passes for 349 yards and three touchdowns as a sophomore, followed by 34 catches for 583 yards and two touchdowns as a junior. As a senior, Hopkins was named a team co-captain and stepped up for an impressive senior season. He finished his final year as a Boilermaker with 61 receptions for 830 yards and seven touchdowns. His performance helped him receive an invite to the 2020 Reese's Senior Bowl. As a pro prospect, Hopkins' ability to run routes in the passing game will be intriguing to many teams. However, his lack of ability as a blocker is a huge red flag at his position and could cause him to slip in the draft. While that is not a good sign right now, he still has room to grow if put in the right situation at the next level. If he can sure up his blocking and show that he can be a consistent pass catcher along with the athleticism, speed, and quickness that he already possesses, Hopkins could be a very solid contributor to any team that takes a chance on him. Round Projection: 3rd-4th; Team Fits: Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears; NFL Comparison: Jared Cook