Who’s the best wide receiver in the NFL? Lots of people would say Michael Thomas of the New Orleans Saints or Julio Jones of the Atlanta Falcons.
DeAndre Hopkins strongly disagrees. In fact, he thinks that Thomas and Jones are at least partially successful because of the quarterbacks they’ve had throwing to them.
“I played against both of those guys last year,” Hopkins said recently on ESPN’s “Jalen and Jacoby,” via Austin Nivison of 247 Sports. “We beat the Falcons. Obviously, we lost to the Saints on a last-second field goal toward the end of regulation. I definitely think I’m the best. I know I’m the best. I know Mike is my boy. We were texting yesterday, but he knows if I had Drew Brees my whole career what these numbers would be. Julio Jones if I had Matt Ryan my whole career … he knows what these numbers would be. Those guys are definitely blessed to be in a position where their whole career they had a Pro Bowl quarterback — a quarterback that they had multiple seasons with. But I don’t complain. I don’t make excuses. I go out and work.”
It wasn’t until 2017 that the Texans got Deshaun Watson as their starter, granting Hopkins some consistency at the quarterback position. Before that, he’d dealt with the revolving door of the likes of Matt Schaub, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brian Hoyer, and Brock Osweiler. None of those quarterbacks are nearly as good as Brees or Ryan, so Hopkins sort of has a point.
Hopkins has three straight 1,000-yard seasons with Watson under center. However, his best season still doesn’t match either Thomas’ or Jones’ best year. Thomas has put together such incredible numbers that it’s fair to say he has a pretty good claim on the title. Maybe a move to the Arizona Cardinals will help Hopkins’ stats even more.