Vikings draft interest emulates Cris Carter

Cris Carter is being inducted into the Hall of Fame in August, but there is a newer version of him heading to the NFL who patterns his game after Carter, has talked to him and who has hands like him (as witnessed in a training video he says needed only one take). So it should be no surprise the Vikings have talked to him.

In August, the Pro Football Hall of Fame will induct former Vikings receiver Cris Carter, and Vikings fans remember Buddy Ryan's infamous quote about Carter: "All he does is catch touchdowns."

The Vikings will have the opportunity to draft another receiver that has caught a lot of touchdowns and models his game after Carter – Clemson product DeAndre Hopkins.

"Cris Carter was a guy I patterned my game after. I used to want to wear number 80 just because Cris, he was a great receiver and is in the Hall of Fame now. He was one of the guys that I patterned my game after," Hopkins said.

"He's just smooth, man. He makes it look effortless in what he does and he's great at his position – he mastered it, his technique and his craft."

The Vikings also talked to Hopkins at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Hopkins admits he isn't the most athletic of the receiver options in the draft class of 2013 – he ran a 4.57 in the 40-yard dash, had a vertical jump of 36 inches and broad jump of 9-foot-7 – but he was immensely productive in his final season at Clemson.

Hopkins (6-foot-1 and 214 pounds) decided to come out after his junior season and a look at his numbers shows why. He had 82 catches for 1,405 yards and 18 touchdown catches (an ACC record) in 2012. He did more than catch touchdowns, but he did do that well. He also had 12 100-yard games during his Clemson career.

"I'm not the most athletic in this draft class, but I'm a student of the game. I know football, the X's and O's and I know how to break down a defense. Get me in the film room and I'm going to show you," Hopkins said at the NFL Scouting Combine.

"I'm looking to show scouts that I'm a football player, that I'm not going to go out there and drop any passes. I hope to run a good 40, but if I don't that doesn't make the football player. I just want to impress them in everything I do."

He wanted to run the 40 in the 4.4s, but instead clocked 4.57 at the combine, but he knew that wouldn't be the real measure of his draft value.

"A lot of guys are 4.3, but it's all about what you do in between those numbers. Jerry Rice ran a 4.6," said Hopkins, who claimed he has never been caught from behind.

Hopkins spent the months prior to the combine training at IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla., but he said Carter wanted to train with him sometime this offseason. If that happens, Carter might be able to refine what is already a strength for Hopkins and always was for Carter.

"I feel the way I catch the ball, the way I attack it out of the air and not let it get to my body and the separation that I get from defenders," Hopkins said.

The best part? He put his words into action with a video shot while training at IMG. He said it only took one take to catch 33 consecutive balls out of a JUGS machine – one-handed.

He looks more like Carter after witnessing that, too.




Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.



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\r\n\r\n","mobileBody":"In August, the Pro Football Hall of Fame will induct former Vikings receiver Cris Carter, and Vikings fans remember Buddy Ryan's infamous quote about Carter: \"All he does is catch touchdowns.\" The Vikings will have the opportunity to draft another receiver that has caught a lot of touchdowns and models his game after Carter – Clemson product DeAndre Hopkins. \"Cris Carter was a guy I patterned my game after. I used to want to wear number 80 just because Cris, he was a great receiver and is in the Hall of Fame now. He was one of the guys that I patterned my game after,\" Hopkins said. \"He's just smooth, man. He makes it look effortless in what he does and he's great at his position – he mastered it, his technique and his craft.\" The Vikings also talked to Hopkins at the NFL Scouting Combine. Hopkins admits he isn't the most athletic of the receiver options in the draft class of 2013 – he ran a 4.57 in the 40-yard dash, had a vertical jump of 36 inches and broad jump of 9-foot-7 – but he was immensely productive in his final season at Clemson. Hopkins (6-foot-1 and 214 pounds) decided to come out after his junior season and a look at his numbers shows why. He had 82 catches for 1,405 yards and 18 touchdown catches (an ACC record) in 2012. He did more than catch touchdowns, but he did do that well. He also had 12 100-yard games during his Clemson career. \"I'm not the most athletic in this draft class, but I'm a student of the game. I know football, the X's and O's and I know how to break down a defense. Get me in the film room and I'm going to show you,\" Hopkins said at the NFL Scouting Combine. \"I'm looking to show scouts that I'm a football player, that I'm not going to go out there and drop any passes. I hope to run a good 40, but if I don't that doesn't make the football player. I just want to impress them in everything I do.\" He wanted to run the 40 in the 4.4s, but instead clocked 4.57 at the combine, but he knew that wouldn't be the real measure of his draft value. \"A lot of guys are 4.3, but it's all about what you do in between those numbers. Jerry Rice ran a 4.6,\" said Hopkins, who claimed he has never been caught from behind. Hopkins spent the months prior to the combine training at IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla., but he said Carter wanted to train with him sometime this offseason. If that happens, Carter might be able to refine what is already a strength for Hopkins and always was for Carter. \"I feel the way I catch the ball, the way I attack it out of the air and not let it get to my body and the separation that I get from defenders,\" Hopkins said. The best part? He put his words into action with a video shot while training at IMG. He said it only took one take to catch 33 consecutive balls out of a JUGS machine – one-handed. He looks more like Carter after witnessing that, too. 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