When it got to the last Redskins pick of the draft, no one honestly knew what route the team would go. When the pick got announced it was a kicker by the name of Zach Hocker out of Arkansas, the reaction to his selection was almost one of the wrong 1st round pick. While Hocker was someone who had a chance to be an early UDFA signing, it’s always rare to see kickers get drafted unless they are a generational type talent or just that much better than their peers. Hocker though started to raise some eyebrows with Redskins fans because of his known high end leg strength that he possesses. Kai Forbath the current kicker has had problems when it comes to leg strength and with the way of the NFL you need kickers who are consistent touchback kickers on kickoffs. Below I’ll take a look at what Hocker can do well already and then what he can bring to the Redskins next year.
When it comes to kickers, I’m not going to sit here and act as if I watched any of his film or even have sat down to ever watch a kicker. Hocker, is one of those guys who I’ve never watched. From what is seen of Hocker, and the tiny bit of Arkansas games I’ve watched, it was apparent that he has the leg strength to at worst be a kick off specialist in the NFL. Hocker though will need to be more than that if he wants to consistently stick in the NFL. With his much the game is evolving and moving into the new age, kickers either need to be able to do both kickoffs and kicks, or they will have the punter do the kickoffs as well. While Hocker never has shown amazing accuracy, he’s shown the ability to be fairly accurate and you hope that when moving to the NFL and getting some special teams coaching then he can become a bit more accurate. When you see what Hocker has done and what he possesses, it’s easy to see that actually one of the toughest competitions in training camp just might come down to the kicker battle.
With that being said, what will Hocker provide the Redskins next year and what can the fans expect then? As I mentioned briefly earlier, Hocker either will be a kick off specialist(which would be a mistake) or he will beat out Kai Forbath and become the new kicker of the Washington Redskins. I’d expect that Hocker does win out the battle, and if he were to lose the battle it would be quite a tough blow and will lead fans to question the pick even more than it already has been. In some ways I almost expect Hocker to win the battle because they don’t want to have a 7th round pick already cut and one that has been scrutinized as a pick already. Look for Zach Hocker though to be the kicker for the Washington Redskins if he can show good accuracy and the leg strength that he does have.