With the 136th pick overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Rams selected Purdue tight end Brycen Hopkins. He’s likely going to be the No. 3 tight end on the team this season, but the sky is the limit potentially. Here are Hopkins’ odds at Mybookie on to win 2020 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year as well as the Rams’ over/under win total.
Last year at Purdue, Hopkins caught 61 passes for 830 yards and seven scores. He averaged 75.5 yards per game in 2019, which ranked second among FBS tight ends.
Hopkins had career highs with 10 receptions for 140 yards against Maryland on Oct. 12, the most receptions and receiving yards by a Purdue tight end since Tim Stratton in 2001 against Washington State and Dustin Keller in 2007 against Central Michigan, respectively.
Hopkins finished with eight receptions for 127 yards and two touchdowns at Wisconsin on Nov. 23; he became the first Purdue tight end since at least 1997 to put up eight receptions, 100 yards and two touchdowns in the same game. Finally, Hopkins had eight receptions for 142 yards with two touchdowns against Indiana on Nov. 30; his 72-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter was a team season-long reception.
Thirty-six of Hopkins’ 96 catches of the past two seasons have earned at least 15 yards, making him a big threat for chunk plays down the field. Hopkins had 543 receiving yards from the slot – second-most in this year’s tight end class behind Florida Atlantic’s Harrison Bryant.
The Rams selected Hopkins in the fourth round of April’s draft. He has terrific speed and is a good athlete, route runner and has vertical presence, which provides him big upside as a pure pass-catching tight end. But he’s not a great blocker. Hopkins has drawn comps to Evan Engram and Jared Cook, but will start the year as the No. 3 tight end behind Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett.
Rams officials say they aren’t worried about any drop issues with Hopkins. Ted Monago ran point on evaluating the Big Ten Tight End of the Year and offered this statistical context.
“It’s kind of like missed tackles with defensive players,” the Rams assistant director of college scouting said. “His drops went from 4 to 7, but his targets went from 54 in 2018 to 91 in 2019… and his receptions went up (from 34 to 61).”
Hopkins had conversations with several teams throughout the draft process, but he said the Rams were actively involved from the beginning.
“They were involved with me early,” Hopkins said. “Back in February, one of their scouts came to Nashville to see me, and we had a great time. He watched me work out, and then we watched a lot of film for an hour or so and really broke down a lot of things. Then we had lunch. It was a great visit, and they kept in touch all along.”
Hopkins is familiar with Higbee, because he played at Western Kentucky for current Purdue coach Jeff Brohm in 2014 and 2015, Brohm’s first two years there. His former strength coach at Purdue, Justin Lovett, was hired by the Rams for the same role in March.
Hopkins’ father, Brad, was a Pro Bowl offensive lineman for the Houston Oilers and Tennessee Titans who played 13 years in the league.
The Rams open their new $5 billion-plus SoFi Stadium on Sunday night, Sept. 13, against Dallas. The Cowboys opened as 2.5-point favorites.