“I definitely think I’m the best,” Hopkins said. “Jalen and Jacoby” on Thursday. “I know I’m the best. Mike, my boy. I love Mike. We texted yesterday. But he know if I had Drew Brees my whole career what these numbers would be. Julio Jones know if I had Matt Ryan my whole career – that’s my boy, I train with Julio, too. He know what these numbers would be. Those guys are definitely blessed to be in a position where their whole career they had a Pro Bowl quarterback, a quarterback they spent multiple seasons with.”
Hopkins Didn’t Do His Research
While he thinks he’s standing at the top, he’s not quite sure what the numbers of the other guys actually look like.
“But I don’t complain. I don’t make any excuses. I go out and work. Obviously, my team won a division championship five out of the seven years that I was there, and I think every team in the division went out and tried to get a DB every draft to stop what was coming to them every year. But nothing against those guys, but I definitely made three All-Pro first-teams also, so I’m not sure how many times that was done by those two guys.”
He’s about to find out.
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Comparing Hopkins to Jones & Thomas
All of these players have had remarkable careers while putting up unbelievable numbers, but one player rises above the rest.
Jones entered the league in 2011.
In his nine NFL seasons, Jones has recorded 797 receptions for 12,125 yards (a 15.2-yard average) and 57 touchdowns. His averages 96.2 receiving yards per game, which is the best in NFL history, and he’s been first-team All-Pro twice. He’s also a seven-time Pro Bowler.
Hopkins entered the league in 2013.
In his career, Hopkins has 632 receptions for 8,602 yards (a 13.6-yard average) and 54 touchdowns. He is a three-time All-Pro and four-time Pro Bowler. Hopkins caught 104 passes for 1,165 yards (an 11.2-yard average) and seven touchdowns in 2019, when he made first-team All-Pro for the third straight season.
Thomas didn’t enter the NFL until 2016.
Since then, Thomas set an NFL single-season record with 149 receptions in 2019, when he had 1,725 receiving yards, an 11.6-yard-per-catch average, and nine touchdowns. In just four seasons in the NFL, Thomas has 470 receptions for 5,512 yards (an 11.7-yard average) and 32 touchdowns. He made first-team All-Pro each of the past two seasons and has three Pro Bowls under his belt.
So, Who Is The Best?
You can’t really compare their total receiving stats since they each entered the league at different times. What you can do to draw a closer conclusion is look at each player’s average 16-game-season stats over their careers.
Julio Jones is that best, averaging more yards on fewer receptions.
But, we already knew who was the best.