Dustin Hopkins is quite aware what it means to compete for a job in training camp and preseason in the NFL.
Drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the 6th round (177 overall) in the 2013 NFL Draft, Hopkins was first placed on IR in his first season and then released by the Bills, during the 2014 preseason.
New Orleans then signed Hopkins and after the 2015 training camp and preseason, he was again released.
Eight days later, Hopkins was signed by the Redskins and has now completed five seasons (2015-19) kicking for Washington.
The former Florida State Seminole is coming off a 2019 season in which he passed former Redskins kicker Curt Knight (1969-73) in scoring, raising his total to 511 points, fourth all-time in Redskins scoring history.
Regarding competing for the placekicker job in training camp and the preseason, Head Coach Ron Rivera and his new coaching staff watched and studied film of every Redskins 2019 regular season game.
Obviously they liked what they observed in Hopkins; because they have made the determination that Dustin is the only place-kicker on the present roster.
Inside the Numbers:
At 6-foot-2, 205 pounds Hopkins is a sneaky good athlete who in high school also played soccer and ran track (high hurdles and high jump).
He wears number 3 in the tradition of the Redskins’ all-time leading scorer, Mark Moseley.
Moseley (1974-86) scored 1,206 points in his 182 games for the Redskins.
Another kicker, Chip Lohmiller (1988-94), is second only to Moseley having scored 787 points in his 112 games.
Both made huge clutch field goals in playoff games and Super Bowls for the Redskins; Moseley even being voted the 1982 NFL MVP for his then consecutive field goal record (23) and clutch game-winning kicks.
Moseley made 263 of his 397 field goal attempts (66.2%), and Lohmiller was 175 of 245 (71.4%).
Yet, it is Hopkins, in his 71 games who has been the most accurate of the three, converting successfully on 124 of 146 attempts for a 84.9% conversion rate.
When it comes to extra point attempts following a touchdown, Moseley made 417 of 441 attempts (94.6%), Lohmiller 262 of 267 (98.1%) and Curt Knight 172 of 175 (98.3%).
Hopkins has been successful on 139 of 146 attempts (95.2%).
However, it must be remembered that the NFL now mandates extra points to be snapped from the 15-yard line, where other Redskins kickers prior to Hopkins, had the ball snapped from the 2-yard line.
For the most recent NFL season (2019), Hopkins finished 15th of 33 NFL kickers eligible, connecting on 25 of his 30 field goal attempts (83.3%).
As for extra points, Hopkins converted on 21 of his 22 attempts (95.4%).
Hopkins set a personal career-high with his 56-yard field goal in a home game win (23-17) over the Carolina Panthers, October 14, 2018.
On November 24th last year, the Redskins needed all four of Hopkins’ field goals (4-4) including his game-winner from 39 yards with :16 seconds remaining to defeat the Detroit Lions for their only home win of the season.
Hopkins met with reporters right after that performance.
Hopkins majored in Media Communications Studies and has earned a Master’s degree in International Affairs.
Video Analysis / Highlights:
Hopkins mastering his timing and technique.
What they’re saying:
“Kicking is a big part of who I am, but football doesn’t define me; just as no one else’s job should define them." - Dustin Hopkins
"I recognize that make or miss, whether I am still playing or not playing, I still am who I am." - Hopkins
"I am loved by God; I go home to my family and my son still looks at me the same way and my wife still loves me whether I make or miss a kick.” - Hopkins
Hopkins is projected to be (24-29) on field goal attempts and (29-31) on extra-point attempts.
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Ivan Lambert is a lifelong die-hard Washington Redskins fan, raised in Berryville, Virginia. He is married and the father of two fine young men. He is currently a sports correspondent for The Ledger in Lakeland, Florida and can be found on Twitter @IvanLambert18