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Bears draft a punter, while Lions, Redskins add at kicker

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Just three specialists — one punter and two placekickers — were selected in the 2014 NFL Draft.

The Bears struck first, taking Miami (Fla.) punter Pat O’Donnell in Round Six (No. 191 overall). Given his status as a draft pick, O’Donnell figures to have every chance to win the job as a rookie. The Bears released Adam Podlesh, their punter from a season ago, in March.

The right-footed O’Donnell punted 53 times in 2013, averaging 47.1 yards. He bench-pressed 225 pounds 23 times at the NFL Scouting Combine. Ex-Steelers punter Drew Butler could be his top competition in Chicago.

In Round Seven, kickers were taken in back-to-back picks, with the Redskins selecting Zach Hocker of Arkansas 228th and the Lions drafting Nate Freese of Boston College 229th.

Hocker, who is right-footed, connected on 13-of-15 field goals in 2013 for the Razorbacks. Head coach Jay Gruden indicated Saturday that Hocker will have a chance to compete with Kai Forbath for a role on kickoffs and on placements. While Forbath hit 18-of-22 field goals in 2013, he forced just 14 touchbacks in 57 kickoffs.

The right-footed Freese didn’t miss a single field goal in 2013, hitting all 20 attempts with a long of 52 yards. In addition to Freese, the Lions have veteran kickers John Potter and Giorgio Tavecchio on the roster. David Akers, who handled the kicking last season, was not re-signed.

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14 Responses to “Bears draft a punter, while Lions, Redskins add at kicker”
  1. tokyosandblaster says: May 10, 2014 9:45 PM

    The bears will need a punter pretty badly unless they’re playing the league’s worst defense: the Minnesota Vikings.

    >

  2. polarbear71 says: May 10, 2014 9:55 PM

    Bad draft for the Bears…very bad !

  3. bearshaterseverywhere says: May 10, 2014 10:20 PM

    The Bears have the 2nd best scoring offense in the NFL and no punter until now…

  4. spliff219 says: May 10, 2014 10:47 PM

    I wish they would have moved up and grabbed Jernigan, but K Fuller is a beast

  5. Big Blue On You says: May 10, 2014 11:47 PM

    Can’t wait for the movie ‘Meet The Hockers’ to arrive on the big-screen.

  6. dubblelznhell says: May 11, 2014 12:23 AM

    Why would anyone draft a Punter or a kicker these days, anyway?

  7. squinn21 says: May 11, 2014 12:25 AM

    The punter the Bears got was a beast at Miami. He had a 73 yard punt this year (65+ in air).

  8. duncanthecat says: May 11, 2014 1:35 AM

    Solid move by Redskins who picked up a kicker who booms a majority of his kicks into the end zone.

    This was sorely missing last year which resulted in exposing the worst special teams in history.

  9. rextraordinaire says: May 11, 2014 2:41 AM

    A punter benched 225 lbs 23 times? Thats more than a lot of linemen and linebackers did.

    So does he actually punt the ball or does he jump serve it like a volleyball players?

  10. afcdomination says: May 11, 2014 4:19 AM

    the 3rd rated kicker went to the Chiefs in UDFA. their kicker had a career low percentage last year kicking and missed a clutch kick late against SD.

    signed the kid out of Tulane, stands a real chance to beat out Succop who has a really big contract for a kicker who can’t kick long field goals (55 plus)

  11. vikesr4reel says: May 11, 2014 7:49 AM

    Bears!!!
    Lol
    The only thing worse than losing your first playoff game is choking trying to get to that game!
    Scoll

  12. vikesr4reel says: May 11, 2014 8:24 AM

    Bears!!
    Lol

  13. nightofthehipple says: May 11, 2014 8:25 AM

    I think the Lions should have used the 7th round pick on. Max Bullough, Marcus Roberson, or Louchiez Purifoy then bring back Havard Rugland to kick.

  14. stevenray72 says: May 11, 2014 9:04 PM

    Solid pick up for the Redskins. I have no doubt that Hocker will have a great NFL career.

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