Sunday's job interview

DeAndre Hopkins

DeAndre Hopkins will experience the most important 4½ seconds of his life this Sunday when he takes to the turf at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine.

There, Hopkins will try to prove to NFL scouts that he's fast enough to be taken with an early-round draft pick.

The 40-yard dash time is one of the most important pieces to a wide receiver's combine resume, according NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock.

"Some teams have him in the third round. Some have him in the second round," Mayock said. "With corners and wide receivers, when you're talking combine, the obvious answer is speed. He goes out there and runs faster than people expect, he's going to open some eyes and push people back to say, ‘Is he faster than we thought he was?'

"I think he's a little bit quicker than fast. If he went out there and ran a 4.40, it would open my eyes. The rest of the league would feel the same way."

Over the last three seasons at Clemson, Hopkins certainly opened plenty of eyes, catching 205 passes for 3,009 yards and 27 touchdowns.

Hopkins is first in school history in receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, 100-yard receiving games and second in receptions.

"Hopkins, to me, is intriguing," Mayock said, "Very smooth, good hands."

Hopkins, who currently has a mid-to-late second from Mayock, was impressive in his finale at Clemson. In the Chick-fil-A Bowl win over LSU, Hopkins caught 13 passes for 119 yards and a touchdown.

"His bowl game I watched, it was fun. He made an awful lot of plays and he made them with the ball in his hands after the catch," Mayock said.

According to Hopkins' nfl.com combine profile:

Presents good height and length for an outside receiver, also has some lower-body strength for explosion off the line of scrimmage and in his cuts. Solid route-runner used in the short, intermediate, and deep games, who has flexibility to avoid corners in zone and the quick feet to separate on hitches, comebacks, and other cuts. Does a nice job creating separation and deceiving defensive backs with head fakes and quick moves. Will threaten the top of defenses with NFL-quality straight-line speed.

Possesses strong hands in traffic, not afraid of contact downfield and can separate at the last second with an arm extension. Agile enough to quickly avoid oncoming defenders after the catch yet remain balanced to head downfield for the big gain. Does not go down without a fight, can run through arm tackle attempts from cornerbacks. Snatches throws with his hands, even those within his frame. Concentrates on the ball throughout difficult catches and extends his long arms to make a big radius. Sells double-moves well with a head fake and body lean. Very good body control to contort his body on catches and pluck the ball out of the air, keep one foot in-bounds on the sideline.

Effective run blocker, usually reaches his target and gets his hands up, uses correct blocking angle to sustain; also shows some nastiness at times, capable of putting his man to the ground. Consistently productive over his time at Clemson, improving his stats each season.

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