New Arizona Cardinals wide receivers coach Shawn Jefferson held the same position with the Detroit Lions from 2007-12, coaching Hall of Famer Calvin Johnson for the first six seasons of his career.
Jefferson spoke to reporters on Tuesday and compared Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to Johnson.
"DeAndre is a phenomenal talent," Jefferson said, according to Howard Balzer of Sports Illustrated. "Right now, to be honest with you, he's probably the only one in the league that I can compare to Calvin Johnson that has the kind of skill set that Calvin had. Playing above the rim and in those competitive situations where you come down with balls."
One of the top plays of the 2020 season came when Hopkins pulled in a Hail Mary pass to help the Cardinals beat the Buffalo Bills. That catch shows the talent that Jefferson was talking about.
Johnson spent nine seasons in the NFL, reeling in 731 catches for 11,619 yards and 83 touchdowns. Hopkins will enter his ninth season in the league in 2021. Through eight seasons, the former Houston Texan has 747 catches for 10,009 yards and 60 touchdowns.
It's hard to compare any receiver to Johnson. However, Hopkins has been one of the best receivers in the NFL since 2013 and will likely surpass Johnson's output at some point during his career.