The only representative for Purdue at the 2020 Reese’s Senior Bowl was former tight end Brycen Hopkins, who was one of Purdue’s best offensive players over the last few seasons.
He is also the best pro prospect from West Lafayette in this year’s draft with only Markus Bailey as the other Boilermaker who figures to be drafted as well.
His stat line in today’s game in Mobile, Alabama was not out of this world, as he had 2 grabs for 19 yards. Scouts do not put all of their emphasis on this game to determine a player’s NFL outlook, but he was voted to the North team’s team of the week which is voted on by the opposing position group he practiced against.
He is regarded as one of the best tight end prospects in April’s draft along with Notre Dame’s Cole Kmet, Washington’s Hunter Bryant, Dayton product Adam Trautman and Jared Pinkney from Vanderbilt.
Hopkins improved every year at Purdue and ended his career with 1945 yards and 16 touchdowns. During his senior year he was the second leading receiver for the Boilermakers with 61 catches, 830 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns.
He had some very big games during his time with Purdue which included a 10 reception 140 yard effort against Maryland and had the best game of his career in this season’s Old Oaken Bucket game when he pulled in 8 catches for 142 yards and two scores.
At 6’5 and 245 pounds, in the NFL he will be more of a receiving tight end who can go out wide and be a go to vertical target for the quarterback. He will need to work on his blocking game but will not be asked to be a blocking tight end given his skill set as a pass catcher.
Brycen has seen a lot of interest from NFL clubs as his skills will make him a matchup nightmare for defenses. Viewed as an early Day 2 prospect, he has either met with or there have been reports of interest from the Bears, Steelers, Jets, Patriots, Rams, Colts and Redskins. It will be interesting to see which team takes a chance on the Nashville, Tennessee native.