Oct 12, 2013; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies defensive tackle Derrick Hopkins (98) sacks Pittsburgh Panthers quarterback Tom Savage (7) during the second quarter at Lane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Derrick Hopkins was seen as a potential 2014 NFL Draft pick but unfrotunately for Hopkins, he slide out of the draft and ended up becoming an undrafted free agent. Derric Hopkins didn’t end up being an undrafted free agent for long as within a couple hours of the end of the draft, Hopkins had agreed to a deal to join the Baltimore Ravens. Derrick Hopkins will enter the Baltimore Ravens’ rookie and mini camps with a great shot to make the team along with having some expectations to be there.
Derrick Hopkins received a $10,000 signing bonus when he signed his deal with the Baltimore Ravens which was the largest of any of the Baltimore Ravens’ signed undrafted players. This was one of the largest signing bonuses given out to an undrafted free agent which shows how many teams likely had Hopkins highly rated on their draft boards. Of course, not getting drafted will give Hopkins a big chip on his shoulder but this signing bonus proves that the Ravens think Hopkins can be a reliable player for them and not a guy who will end getting cut.
Derrick Hopkins might not have great height but his skills should make him a very good fit as a nose tackle in the Baltimore Ravens’ 3-4 defensive scheme. Hopkins is not a very fast player but he is a tough, hard working player that can fit well as a nose tackle that can force his way into a backfield. Hopkins is an above-average pass rusher for a defensive tackle and that will still be true as a nose tackle as a interior defensive lineman that can produce 5 sacks is somewhat rare and Hopkins did that this past season.
In the NFL, Hopkins proects to be a solid pass rushing nose tackle that can get a few sacks over the course of the season potentially. Hopkins will not be able to chase anyone down probably but his speed is good enough to be average for a nose tackle. Hopkins is a powerful player that can get into the backfield and do some damage which can continue to an extent in the NFL. However, Hopkins is going to be a guy that sticks in the NFL and has the potential to be a solid NFL starting nose tackle with a floor of being a solid backup and bringing some value on special teams.
Of course, Derrick Hopkins will have some tough competition to make the team from veterans Terrence Cody and Brandon Williams who both are the current main backup nose tackles. Williams does have some versatility to slide over to 3-4 defensive end but Cody is purely a nose tackle. Derrick Hopkins has the talent to make the Ravens and could really put some pressure on Terrence Cody who has had issues in the past with being in good shape. Hopkins has great character and that will help him stick in the NFL as a guy that coaches know will not get any trouble. Hopkins will be a guy that will stick in the NFL with the Baltimore Ravens.
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