Earlier this week, the San Francisco 49ers worked out rookie kicker Zach Hocker, according to ESPN's Adam Caplan. Hocker was drafted in the seventh round this past May by Washington. He competed against Kai Forbath in training camp, but ultimately was released at the end of camp. It does not appear that he spent any time on a 53-man roster or practice squad during the regular season.
The 49ers have not signed Hocker, but Matt Maiocco suggested this is for consideration for the offseason 90-man roster. Starting this coming Monday, practice squad players on non-playoff teams join the ranks of free agents already out there. The 49ers will be allowed to start signing such players to reserve/future contracts, and a guy like Hocker very well could be such an option.
The last two seasons, Colton Schmidt has been the team's camp leg. However, after the 49ers waived him late in training camp this year, the Buffalo Bills claimed him. He has handled punting duties all season, meaning he will likely not be back with the 49ers as a camp leg later this coming year. The 49ers generally bring in a camp leg to keep Andy Lee and/or Phil Dawson fresh. Hocker made his name in college as a kicker, but he also added some punting work in 2013.
The 49ers do have some cap incentives to move on from Dawson. If they were to release him this coming offseason, they would save $3,134,000 in cap space, while carrying $1 million in dead money. I don't know what to expect with regard to Dawson because it is hard to tell what the 49ers have planned for next season. They still have a ton of talent, and Dawson remains a generally solid kicker. It makes sense to keep a veteran kicker around, but if they think they can find a younger option, they could do some good things with $3.134 million in cap space.
Here are some scouting reports on Hocker: