Former Texan Andre Johnson thinks DeAndre Hopkins is ‘best in the game’

DeAndre Hopkins is one the NFL’s premier wide receivers and everyone knows it including Andre Johnson.

The former Texans Pro Bowl player said as much Tuesday, according to the Houston Chronicle.

I definitely think he’s arguably the best in the game, Johnson said. He finally has a quarterback that’s pretty steady.

While some players have said they’ll decline participating in this year’s Home Run Derby if invited, Nationals slugger Bryce Harper confirmed his commitment to the event on Friday, assuming he’s named to the NL All-Star team.

If he doesn’t rebound in the second half, his stock is decreased dramatically, the NL exec said. He’ll still get a lot of money, but not anywhere near if he had a year like he was having last year before he got hurt.

According to one AL general manager, though, Harper’s struggles — even if they persist throughout the second half — can’t be evaluated in a vacuum. People don’t look at things in one-year buckets, the GM said. You look at things in a three- or four-year bucket because you’re trying to forecast what you’re buying over the course of that contract. So using one year as the driver of your analysis is problematic. Also clouding the picture is the aftershock of last winter’s free-agency free fall.

The fact that Bowles and Bates have been open-minded about possibly starting Darnold right away is good news for the rookie. At the very least, the approach will make Darnold eager to absorb everything he can from McCown and Bridgewater to enhance his all-around talent as quickly as possible.

To make it fair and to make sure Darnold will be ready, the Jets are not holding back or easing the playbook burden on the rookie. For Week 1, it comes down to who can deliver as a playmaker with confidence and not get by as a caretaker.

Darnold is the youngest QB in the league, having turned 21 on June 5. He is also coming off a turnover-filled final season at USC. Even with his prototypical profile, he needs a degree of polish and can’t be trusted to be efficient enough for the Jets to feel comfortable with him initially.

In Cleveland, Baker Mayfield has no shot to overtake Tyrod Taylor; Darnold in New York has the second toughest path to starting as a rookie first-rounder. McCown and Bridgewater are stronger combined options than Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon ahead of Josh Rosen (Cardinals) and AJ McCarron and Nathan Peterman ahead of Josh Allen (Bills).

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