Dustin Hopkins holds early lead in New Orleans Saints kicker competition


The training camp battles are brewing up in the mountains of West Virginia.  The New Orleans Saints capped off  their fourth padded practice at The Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs Wednesday morning, and there have been a couple of one-sided fights, specifically in the kicking department.

Dustin Hopkins currently holds an early lead over Zach Hocker.  However, if I were were writing this with a pen and paper, I would have underlined the word “early” ten times.

Hopkins was signed to the Saints’ practice squad in 2014, eventually being signed to a futures contract at the end of the season.  Before New Orleans, he was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the sixth round of the 2013 NFL Draft.  However, he suffered a groin injury that landed him on injured reserve.  He was given an opportunity to compete for a job again in 2014, but lost out to Dan Carpenter.  Dustin Hopkins was an All-American at Florida State where he holds an NCAA scoring record for kickers and field goals.

Zach Hocker spent time with the Washington Redskins as a rookie in 2014, but was waived before the regular season began.  His tenure with the Miami Dolphins did not last long either.  He was signed to a futures contract in January only to be waived in May and picked up by New Orleans.

The Saints are just days into training camp, so it’s way too soon for anybody to say Dustin Hopkins will be the Saints’ kicker in 2015.  Fortune-telling is a fabricated industry.  Heck, neither Hopkins nor Hocker could be booting the pigskin by the time the regular season arrives.  Remember last year?

The point is, Hopkins is currently ahead in the race.  With a ton more training camp to go, we’ll continue to monitor the situation. The Saints have not had the best luck with kickers as of late.

Next: Saints roster debate: Dustin Hopkins or Zach Hocker?

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