Buffalo Bills

Dustin Hopkins to Bills: How Does K Fit with Buffalo?

Oct 13, 2012;  Tallahassee, Florida, USA; Florida State Seminoles kicker Dustin Hopkins (18) kicks a field goal during the second half of the game against the Boston College Eagles at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports
Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports
Chris TrapassoAnalyst IApril 27, 2013

Welcome to Florida State North, home of the Buffalo Bills

Currently, six former Seminoles reside on Doug Marrone's roster: quarterback EJ Manuel, offensive lineman Zebrie Sanders, linebacker Nigel Bradham, punter Shawn Powell, long snapper Garrison Sanborn and now, kicker Dustin Hopkins. 

Has an NFL team ever had its kicking trio—long snapper, punter and kicker—all from the same college? 

I'm not the biggest fan of using a draft selection on a kicker, but here's why I believe the Bills pulled the trigger on Hopkins and how he fits in Buffalo.

To many, this Florida State specialist was the best field-goal kicker in the country. 

That's a plus. 

More importantly, Rian Lindell is 36 years old and is a $3 million cap hit in 2013 and 2014. 

Although the veteran kicker finished in the Top 15 in field-goal accuracy last season, his leg is not nearly as strong as it used to be—he was certainly a liability on kickoffs. 

The Bills need to force more touchbacks

Hopkins will serve as legitimate competition for the elder, handsomely paid Lindell, and don't be surprised if the Florida State alum ultimately wins the job in training camp or the preseason. 

Outside of his huge leg, youth is on his side, and he won't be nearly as expensive.

Poke fun at the kicker selection now, but don't forget the name Dustin Hopkins. He may very well replace Rian Lindell on the Bills' roster. 


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