Cincinnati Bengals: Evan McPherson gives fans hope at kicker position

Leigh Oleszczak
Cincinnati Bengals place kicker Evan McPherson (2) - Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Cincinnati Bengals place kicker Evan McPherson (2) - Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /

The Cincinnati Bengals spent a fifth-round pick on Evan McPherson in this year’s draft and he ended up being the only kicker selected through seven rounds.

Bengals fans had immediate flashbacks to the “legacy” that was Jake Elliott, who the team also spent a fifth-rounder on back in 2017. He didn’t wow during the preseason and as a result, lost his job to Randy Bullock. We all know the rest — Elliott landed on the practice squad, got scooped up by the Eagles, and has been their kicker ever since.

The Bengals, meanwhile, have struggled to find a true kicker during that time. Austin Seibert wasn’t bad but it was painful watching Elliott continue to wheel and deal for the Eagles knowing Cincinnati could have had that production.

It was only natural for Bengals fans to be worried about McPherson after what they went through with Elliott, but this is looking like a completely different situation here. McPherson looked solid in preseason and capped off his magical summer by connecting on a 57-yard field goal to end the first half against the Dolphins. It was glorious.

Evan McPherson can be the kicker Cincinnati Bengals dreamed of

While at Florida, McPherson went a perfect 52-of-52 on extra-point attempts while notching 17-of-22 field goals, good for a 77.3%. Spending a fifth-round pick on him could be considered risky, but as Charlie Goldsmith noted in the tweet above, McPherson has easily been the rookie of the preseason.

With McPherson’s leg, this hopefully opens things up for the Bengals to attempt long field goals and add some points ahead of halftime or even at the end of the game, as we saw happen on Sunday. He hit that 57-yarder with ease and while he’s obviously not going to make all of those, that kick was never in doubt.

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McPherson could give the Bengals a reliable kicker and that’s something this team hasn’t had in quite some time.