WR Hopkins works out for NFL teams at Clemson
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Clemson wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins did his best to push himself into the NFL draft's first round, bettering his 40-yard dash time Thursday and putting on a solid pass-catching show in front of New York Jets coach Rex Ryan and personnel from 31 pro teams.
Hopkins put up a 4.41-second time in his second 40-yard run at the Tigers recently opened indoor football facility. Hopkins' first-run time of 4.46 seconds was also faster than his NFL combine time of 4.57 seconds.
Hopkins, the 6-foot-1, 214-pounds, decided to skip his senior year at Clemson. He is considered to be a late first-round or possibly second-second pick — and he gave team officials plenty to think about with his performance.
Hopkins spoke with Ryan several times during the session. The Chicago Bears were the only team not represented, Clemson said.
About the only thing Hopkins didn't do was talk about his day. "Sorry, man, I can't right now," Hopkins said as he breezed past a group of reporters.
Hopkins was mostly overlooked his first two seasons with the Tigers before becoming an offensive star last fall. He led the team with 52 catches for 637 yards as a freshman in 2010, but the Tigers were just 6-7.
Hopkins came back in 2011 with 72 catches for 978 yards. Still, his efforts were overshadowed by freshman teammate Sammy Watkins, who became an All-American with his 82 receptions for 1,219 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Last fall, Hopkins became Clemson's unquestioned receiving leader. His best game, though, may have come in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl when he set a bowl mark with 13 catches for 191 yards. Among the grabs was a sliding 26-yard reception with the Tigers facing fourth-and-16 on what became the team's winning drive in a 25-24 victory over LSU.
Not everything went perfectly for Hopkins during Thursday's workout. He dropped two passes during position drills, then promptly did 20 pushups for the pair of miscues.
Several of Hopkins former Clemson teammates were also hoping to impress NFL eyes at the three-hour session.
Clemson tailback Andre Ellington, who's twice rushed for more than 1,000 yards, did not take part because of a hamstring injury. He plans to hold his own workout for scouts March 29.