May 28 (UPI) — New Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins believes he’s the best pass-catcher in the NFL, ranking himself ahead of Atlanta Falcons star Julio Jones and New Orleans Saints wideout Michael Thomas.
Hopkins, speaking Thursday on ESPN’s Jalen & Jacoby Show, said his numbers would be higher if he didn’t endure inconsistent quarterback play in Houston.
“I definitely think I’m the best,” Hopkins said. “I know I’m the best. Mike’s my boy. I love Michael Thomas … but he knows if I had Drew Brees my whole career what these numbers would be. Julio Jones knows if I had Matt Ryan my whole career. That’s my boy. I trained with Julio, too. 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 — quarterback that they spent multiple seasons with. But I don’t complain. I don’t make excuses. I go out there and work.”
Hopkins caught passes from 10 different quarterbacks since being drafted by the Texans in 2013. The four-time Pro Bowl receiver enjoyed his most success with current Houston signal-caller Deshaun Watson, who was drafted in 2017.
With Watson under center, Hopkins recorded 268 catches for 3,373 yards and 25 touchdowns in 38 games. Hopkins’ receiving yards from Watson — who played only seven games in 2017 because of a torn ACL — were the eighth-most in the league during that span.
Overall, Hopkins has the third-most receiving yards since 2017 with 4,115, trailing only Jones and Thomas.
Hopkins, who was traded to the Cardinals in March, ranked 11th in receiving last season with 1,165 yards. He totaled 104 receptions and seven touchdowns in his final year with the Texans.