Bengals who need to show something – No. 2: Evan McPherson
Evan McPherson, the rookie kicker out of Florida, has shown a lot of promise so far in the offseason. He was listed as the top kicker on the first depth chart, which is encouraging considering the Bengals spent a fifth-round pick to get his services.
For a kicker, the fifth round should really be an automatic starter once the season comes around. So far it is looking like that is the case for McPherson.
The preseason will help evaluate the kicking competition because of the live-action feel. Playing in a stadium with noise and an opposing team and added pressure is far different from kicking in practice or a scrimmage. Dealing with the pressure to still make a strong and accurate kick is what the best kickers in the game can do consistently.
McPherson should get several chances in this game since he will be able to trot out on the field no matter what string is playing. While many starters will be pulled early, McPherson has the luxury of being able to lock into his game and set himself apart as the kicker of the regular season with a strong showing.
The other preseason games will help cement that message, but building the momentum starts in Week 1.