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Selection of sixth-round kicker a bad sign for Rian Lindell

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills have a matching set of kicking specialists after drafting Florida State kicker Dustin Hopkins with their sixth-round pick.

Bills punter Shawn Powell was Hopkins' holder at Florida State. Long snapper Garrison Sanborn is a former Seminole.

The Hopkins addition doesn't bode well for incumbent kicker Rian Lindell, who former head coach Chan Gailey didn't feel comfortable with on field-goal attempts over 50 yards. Lindell is the Bills' longest-tenured player.

Hopkins made 22 of his 33 field goals from 40 to 49 yards and nine of his 15 attempts from 50 yards or longer over his college career. He made five of his six tries from at least 50 yards last year, connecting on a career-long of 56 yards.

Of his 348 kickoffs, 137 of them were touchbacks.


2013 draft | Dustin Hopkins | Garrison Sanborn | Rian Lindell | Shawn Powell
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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |