Round 7, pick #217 – Ted Bolser, TE – 6’5”, 257lbs.
Rookie sensation Jordan Reid is the entrenched starter at TE with Logan Paulsen and Niles Paul the next two on the depth chart after Fred Davis was released. For me, this was another disappointing pick even being a seventh rounder, as he is unlikely to unseat any of the incumbents.
There were many higher rated TEs still on the board if we had to take one, such as Colt Lyerla (who presumably fell due to his off-field issues), and the 6’6” target from Fresno State, Marcel Jensen. However, Head coach Jay Gruden stated that the major reason Bolser was drafted was his prowess on kick coverage in college, so Bolser will be used initially on special teams.
I would have preferred us to take a chance on someone like SS Craig Loston from LSU, CB Marcus Roberson or the 6’6” WR Brandon Coleman from Rutgers who both ended undrafted or Christian Jones.
Round 7, pick #228 – Zach Hocker, K – 6’0” 189lbs.
Specialists are rarely taken higher than the seventh round so you can often get the pick of the kickers and punters here. Our special teams were the worst in the league last year, probably the worst over the last 20 years they were that bad. Kai Forbath had a decent year, only missing two non-blocked kicks but his kickoffs were short.
Hocker has a good but not great leg and Jay Gruden has suggested the possibility of having a kickoff specialist. If so, I doubt if Hocker is that guy. Like I said, Forbath had a decent year after an incredible debut the previous year, and his percentage in the NFL is much higher than Hocker’s was in college.
But it’s healthy to have competition in training camp although you don’t necessarily have to draft one to provide that. Punter Sav Rocca had a poor year and at his advanced age, we have probably seen the last of him meaning we will have a new punter in 2014.
If we were to use a draft pick on a specialist, I would rather have spent it on a punter, and got the best one from college, Kirby Van Der Kamp.
Our punters on the roster are Robert Malone and Blake Clingan. Malone has struggled to find a permanent home in the NFL. His stats are average and he has played in 31 games in four years for three different teams. We need competition at this crucial position and I feel it would have been better spent on the P rather than the K.