Texans sign first-rounder Hopkins

    2013-07-22 17:52

HOUSTON (AP) - The Houston Texans signed first-round pick receiver DeAndre Hopkins on Monday, giving them seven of nine 2013 draft picks now under contract.

Hopkins, who left Clemson after his junior season, is a deep threat who could be the complement for star receiver Andre Johnson that the Texans long have sought.

He caught 82 passes and set school records with 1,405 yards receiving and 18 touchdown receptions last year. His 24 catches of 20 yards or more last season were the most in the ACC and he averaged 17.1 yards a catch in 2012.

For his career at Clemson, Hopkins had 206 receptions for 3,020 yards and 27 touchdowns, becoming the sixth player in ACC history with more than 3,000 yards receiving and the only player in conference history to gain that many yards in just three seasons.

Hopkins, taken 27th overall, is just the second receiver Houston has drafted in the first round and the first since Johnson was chosen third overall in 2003.

The Texans are looking for Hopkins to contribute early after they released veteran receiver Kevin Walter, who started the majority of games opposite Johnson for the past six seasons. He'll compete for the starting job with second-year receiver Keshawn Martin. DeVier Posey could also be in the mix after contributing on offense as a rookie last season. But he tore his Achilles tendon in Houston's playoff loss and is likely to miss time early in the season.

Hopkins was a two-sport star in high school, leading his team to a state championship as a senior. He also played for the Clemson basketball team as a freshman in 2010.

Second-round pick D.J. Swearinger, a safety, and offensive tackle Brennan Williams, taken in the third round, are Houston's picks who have yet to sign.

Also on Monday, the Texans released nose tackle Ra'Shon Harris, placed safety Orhian Johnson and linebacker Sam Montgomery on the active/non-football injury list, and placed defensive end Earl Okine on the physically unable to perform list.

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