The San Francisco 49ers spent a fifth round pick this year on punter Bradley Pinion, and quickly cleared the way for him by trading Andy Lee. While Pinion's primary work will be as a punter, he could get a chance to handle kickoff duties. He started handling kickoffs as a freshman in 2012, attempting 27. He had 79 kickoffs as a sophomore, with 38 touchbacks (31st out of 100). As a junior, he had 74 kickoffs, with 36 touchbacks (33rd out of 100).
Last month, Pinion mentioned doing a lot of work on kickoffs throughout the 49ers offseason workout program. There is no word yet on if he officially has the job, but it seems likely he will at least get an opportunity in training camp. He would seem to be preparing as though this will happen, as seen in the video above. He has been working with Jamie Kohl, founder of Kohl's Kicking, Punting, Snapping Camps. Kohl apparently trains some other starters around the league, and selects the high school specialist participants for the Under Armour All-American Game.
It appears Pinion has been on Kohl's camp staff, so it is not surprising they would work together to help him get ready for his first NFL training camp. He has a roster spot locked up, but the question is whether his role will extend beyond that of just punter. The 49ers first preseason game is one month away, at which point we'll get a better idea if he is in fact competing to take on kickoff duties. We might hear something about it during the first two weeks of training camp, but getting some work in real game action will give us a better idea.