Ross Kelly, CBS Local Sports

DeAndre Hopkins may play for the lowly Texans who shuffle quarterbacks like playing cards, but he is quickly ascending to the top of the wide receiver ranks. After serving a two-year apprenticeship under Andre Johnson, Hopkins is now the clear number one in Houston and should be playing in Hawaii come January.

In Jacksonville on Sunday, Hopkins put on a show with 10 grabs for 148 yards and two scores. The highlight of those 10 receptions was undoubtedly his toeing-the-sideline helmet catch:

The concentration to maintain control of the ball and stay-in bounds should not be overlooked. Gus Bradley challenged the play but I think he just wanted to watch more replays of it like the rest of us.

But it’s not just the spectacular catches that make Hopkins an elite receiver; he backs it up with his production. Through six games he has 52 receptions for 726 yards and five touchdowns. Both the receptions and yards lead the NFL and his numbers projected over a full season are 138 receptions for 1936 yards and 13 touchdowns. Those projections are also known as receiving numbers that no player in NFL history has accomplished. The fact that he’s doing this with BRyan Mallethoyer at QB is a testament to his greatness.

Ross Kelly is an Associated Producer for CBS Local Sports. He is from Louisiana and is a fan of all sports, but not of any teams (except LSU). He can be reached at