2020 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Purdue TE Brycen Hopkins

Brian Lamb
Brian Lamb is the owner of NFL Draft Lounge and has covered the NFL Draft since 2011. Brian is also the owner of the Infinity Sports Network, which NFL Draft Lounge belongs to.

Brycen Hopkins

Height:  6’5

Weight:  245 lbs

 

2019 Mackey Award Preseason Watchlist
2019 Mackey Award Tight End of the Week Following Nevada Performance

 

Brycen Hopkins is a flex tight end that is used in a variety of situations by the Purdue Boilermakers.  He was a three-star recruit by 247sports.com and ESPN, but has quickly shown tremendous value and recognition as an early round draft pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.  In this article, we’ll breakdown his traits and evaluate his future as an NFL tight end.

 

 

What I Like:

Athletic Ability and Competitive Toughness

Brycen Hopkins has very good skills as a flex tight end. On this play, he displays a good ability to catch the ball in traffic.  His athletic ability is also on display as he goes up to highpoint the ball in traffic.  Hopkins is a competitive prospect that plays consistent football in key situations.

 

 

What I Dislike:

Quickness To Execute Blocks and Use Of Hands

On this play,Brycen Hopkins is outmatched by a linebacker with much better use of hands.  Hopkins shows an adequate ability to get to blocks quickly, which hurts him on this play.  Hopkins typically has a solid ability to use his hands to gain leverage over defenders, so this play is an inconsistency from him.

 

 

Where I’ve Seen Improvement

In-line Blocking Ability

 

While there are inconsistencies in Hopkins ability to get to and execute blocks quickly, he’s much more consistent as an in-line blocker.  On this play, Hopkins shows a good ability to establish leverage quickly and steer the defender away from the ball.  It’s still not the prettiest block, but it gets the job done as the Boilermakers move the ball downfield.

 

 

Overall Breakdown

Brycen Hopkins is a four-year versatile tight end for the Purdue Boilermakers.  Often finds himself lined up as an inline tight end or flexed out in the slot.  Has good quickness and explosiveness off the line of scrimmage to get upfield quickly.  Has good balance with the ball in his hands and shows a good ability to stay upright and fight through tackles.  Has a good ability to read the field quickly and finds open space in coverage to sit on routes.  His ability to maintain leverage through blocks is solid.  Has a good to very good ability to catch the ball in traffic.  Ability to track the ball downfield is very good.  He’s able to get vertical in traffic to highpoint the ball and put himself in position to make the catch.  Has a good overall catch ability.  Has very good footwork to create separation at the top of the route and has quick feet to cut in and out of routes with ease.  Has a good ability to drive through defender as an inline blocker and has a good ability to steer defenders efficiently.  Has a solid use of hands as an inline blocker.

Shows to have an adequate second gear.  He’s able to beat defenders in the short to intermediate game, but likely won’t outrun defenders and often appears to be gassed on longer routes.  Has a marginal ability to pickup blitzes off the line of scrimmage, especially against quicker defenders.  Displays an adequate ability to block downfield and often gets beat through use of hands.  Has an adequate ability to fake defenders out in short range with the ball in his hands.

 

2020 NFL Draft Projection

Second Round

Brycen Hopkins is a solid to good flex tight end that excels in the passing game.  I have him listed as my top tight end on my draft board, but I’d be surprised to see him come off the board in the first round.  Instead, look for a team with a need for a vertical tight end to draft him on the second day of the NFL Draft.

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