If there is one player who stands alone at his position, it has to be kicker Dustin Hopkins.
The NFL Draft rarely ever singles out a specialist, but the Florida State kicker may be one of the best kickers to come out of football in years. He is a gem that a team may reach for if they really need a kicker, but it will be well worth it.
Hopkins has a big leg, in 2012, he was five-for-six for field goals from 50 yards or more. He has hit nine total field goals in his college career from 50+ yards, longest being 56 yards. His second-longest was a 55-yard game winning field goal against Clemson back in his sophomore year.
His field goal percentage was not jaw-dropping, only standing at 83.3%, but is still solid enough to be trust-worthy in the NFL. He did miss his only 50-yard attempt in Florida State’s bowl game against Northern Illinois.
Competition is always minimal for kickers and punters, but every year one is almost guaranteed to be “over-drafted.” It is not easy being a kicker in the NFL, you can be as talented as anyone, but if you can’t consistently make field goals, no team is going to trust you.
Hopkins has a long road ahead of him, and the kicker position never has too many openings, so he must prove himself early on, just like Blair Walsh did for the Minnesota Vikings.
Expect Hopkins to be drafted on the third draft day, and he will be expected to be the starting kicker for whoever drafts him.