Brycen Hopkins Player Profile
Updated: Mar 29
Weight: 245 LBS
Published by Michael Garrity
Background and Positives: Brycen Hopkins is a monster 6’5, 245 pound Tight End out of Purdue. Hopkins’s senior season was one to watch, as he reeled in a whopping 830 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns. His receiving yards ranked second among all Tight Ends in College Football. Hopkins’ is regarded as a top Tight End prospect in this year's draft, and deservedly so. One strength in Hopkin’s game is his speed. He is quick off the line for a Tight End, and picks up speed fast in his routes. His speed shined in the combine, as he ran a 4.66 40-yard dash. This ranked second best among Tight Ends who participated. You won’t see Hopkins outrun Defensive Backs, but he picks up speed to where he can get 10-15 yards after the catch. Another aspect of Hopkins’ game is his quality route-running. He is one of, if not the best route runner in this class. His route running is polished, and he gets open in tight gaps where he can make plays. He runs them extremely well, especially near the end zone.
Negatives: A big red flag I noticed when watching his tape is his catching ability. His drop rate concerns me, and I don’t know how much better it’s going to get once he gets to the NFL. Hopkins dropped 11.5% of catchable targets last season. Hopkins recorded 22 dropped passes, which is 6 more than any other Tight End in this draft class. Another red flag I noticed when looking at his tape is his in-line blocking. This could be Hopkins’s worst trait of his game. His stance is extremely weak and he struggles to fire off of the line when the play starts. Catching and blocking are both traits every Tight End needs to acquire if they want to be elite in the league. Right now, those are both of Hopkin’s weaknesses.
Draft Round: There is definitely room for improvement in Hopkins’s game. For that reason, I have some hope. The problem is, I don't know how fast he can improve those aspects of his game before NFL teams give up on him. His hands need to improve, and he needs to stay consistent with his blocking. If he gets those two things squared away, he could be someone to watch. He has the speed and athleticism for the makes of a great Tight End. I have a feeling Hopkins is going to slip in this year's draft, and could be drafted early in the 4th round
Which team should take Hopkins?: The Panthers could be a realistic destination for Hopkins. The Panthers 3x Pro Bowler, Greg Olsen, hasn’t played a full season since 2017. They released Olsen on February 3rd, 2020. Olsen later signed with the Seahawks. Hopkins will most likely play a backup role to Ian Thomas if he gets drafted by Carolina. Thomas has shown promise the past two seasons, racking up 468 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns. He served as the backup to Olsen in those two seasons. If Carolina does take Hopkins, he has the opportunity to be mentored by one of the greatest college head coaches of last year, Matt Rhule. Matt Rhule won the 2019 Big 12 Coach of the Year Award, and left Baylor University last season to come and take the Panthers HC job after Ron Rivera left this offseason. Many people believe Rhule will be the man to bring the Panthers back to relevance. Rhule has a brilliant mind and could really help the Panthers obtain a winning season. Hopkins could really thrive under Rhule, and it would be exciting to see what happens.