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If the Bengals don’t draft a kicker, Matthew McCrane could be an option in free agency

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The Kansas State product is intriguing but not likely worth a draft pick. Though, the Bengals have three seventh rounders and one could be used on special teams.

Kansas State v West Virginia Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

When you picture the stereotypical, undersized kid masquerading as a football player because he made the roster as a kicker, Matthew McCrane’s picture is one that should probably come to mind. Weighing in at only 165 pounds, he was certainly on the smaller end of Kansas State’s roster, tipping the scales at half the size of fellow Wildcat, Tevita Fehoko. His small frame did him no favors in attempting to stay healthy, as he suffered a leg injury as a sophomore when a defender ran into him, and another leg injury as a junior, overworking it on kickoffs.

When McCrane has remained healthy, he’s been a very accurate kicker for the Kansas State Wildcats, successfully making 95% of his career kicks under 40 yards, and not missing a single extra point since his freshman season.

Matthew McCrane Scouting Profile

Height: 5’10”

Weight: 165 pounds

Position: Kicker

College: Kansas St

Projected Round: Round 7 or undrafted

Matthew McCrane, Kicker, Kansas St

Year Player GP 0-30 FGM 0-30 FGA 0-39% 40-49 FGM 40-49 FGA 40-49% 50+ FGM 50+ FGA 50+% Lng FGM FGA FG% XP XPA XP%
Year Player GP 0-30 FGM 0-30 FGA 0-39% 40-49 FGM 40-49 FGA 40-49% 50+ FGM 50+ FGA 50+% Lng FGM FGA FG% XP XPA XP%
2014 Matthew McCrane 12 12 13 92% 4 4 100% 2 2 100% 53 18 19 95% 41 42 98%
2015 Matthew McCrane 5 6 6 100% 1 1 100% 0 0 - 40 7 7 100% 15 15 100%
2016 Matthew McCrane 8 10 10 100% 1 4 25% 0 0 - 42 11 14 79% 29 29 100%
2017 Matthew McCrane 13 14 15 93% 4 5 80% 3 6 50% 54 21 26 81% 48 48 100%
Average Matthew McCrane 38 42 44 95% 10 14 71% 5 8 63% 57 66 86% 133 134 99%

Important Notes:

  • Four year starter for Kansas State
  • First team All-Big 12 selection in 2017
  • Injured on two different occasions in college

Scouting Report Consensus - What to like:

  • Very consistent kicking form and trajectory
  • His missed kicks are never shanked
  • Technically sound kicker who can hang directional kicks on kickoffs
  • Great accuracy from short distance, making 95% of his field goal attempts under 40 yards, and 99% of his extra points.
  • Made 63% of his attempts from 50+ yards, going 5 for 8 from that range in his career.

Scouting Report Consensus - What to not like:

  • Undersized at only 165 pounds
  • Injured twice in his four year collegiate career
  • Only 45% of his kickoffs went for touchbacks

Conclusion:

McCrane is a very technically sound kicker who can consistently make all the kicks and place kickoffs where they need to go. He’s pretty much automatic on everything under 40 yards, and has shown a proficiency at making kicks from 50+ yards.

He doesn’t have an other-worldly booming leg, but it’s strong enough to make kicks just beyond the 50 yard range, and has the skills to accurately place kickoffs high and directional to make up for a decent-not great kickoff leg. He is a willing but unsuccessful tackler who needs to add mass to his frame.

He won’t get drafted as high as Daniel Carlson or Eddy Pieniro (and may go undrafted), but could end up being a solid NFL kicker who should get added by a team who feels that his accuracy outweighs concerns of his body holding up to the rigors of the NFL.

He may be able to give Randy Bullock a run for his money, but the top two kickers in the draft likely have a better shot at winning that competition on the Bengals’ roster.