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Grading the Bengals’ selection of Evan McPherson

The Bengals are the first team to select a kicker in the 2021 draft.

South Carolina vs Florida Photo by Kelly Chase/Collegiate Images/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals used their 149th pick to select Evan McPherson, a kicker by way of the Florida Gators.

McPherson is one of the most consistent kickers in this year’s draft and in college football history. He is 23rd all-time in the NCAA in points, and is 22nd in extra points made.

Only a junior, McPherson has made 17 field goals in each of his three seasons. He attempted 19 in 2019 and in 2020, giving him an SEC-leading 89.5% both years. He had only 77% of his field goals made in 2020, lowering his career percentage to 85. That’s still 14th all-time in NCAA history.

McPherson only missed one extra point in his entire career. Extra points are theoretically automatic, but only one missed extra point in three years is actually more impressive than it seems.

While selecting a kicker isn’t sexy, it’s a little thing that can snowball into a big thing. Not only does converting extra points and field goals give you more points, but good kickoffs help keep opponents driving the length of the field.

The Bengals Randy Bullock go, and the only kicker on the roster is Austin Siebert. Just like when the Bengals drafted Jake Elliott in the 2017 draft, McPherson will probably compete with the veteran kicker already on the roster for his spot, though this battle will hopefully end different than what happened with Elliott.

For what it’s worth, Elliott has had a great career with the Eagles since they signed him off the Bengals’ practice squad. If that’s any indication, then McPherson will be in Cincinnati for a while as long as he does well in training camp and the preseason. McPherson’s competition is easier, so the main kicking duties are his to lose.

Grade: A

Be sure to hit us up with your grade in the comments section!