When the Cincinnati Bengals spent the 149th overall pick on Evan McPherson in the 2021 NFL Draft, fans weren't really sure what to expect. McPherson competed with Austin Seibert that summer for the kicking job and won it. He then went on to have a rookie season for the ages that was capped off with him kicking the game-winner in the AFC Championship Game to send Cincinnati to the Super Bowl.
During McPherson's rookie season, he had a field goal percentage of 84.8 and an extra-point percentage of 95.8. Year 2 wasn't as kind to him but he was still pretty clutch, finishing the season with an 82.8 field goal percentage and 90.9% on extra points.
Through six games in 2023, McPherson has missed just two field goals out of 12 attempts and has knocked through all 10 extra points. Why are we discussing McPherson right now though? We all know he's great so why is he getting extra buzz as the Bengals prepare for a tough battle with the San Francisco 49ers?
Well, because those same 49ers are not having a good time with their rookie drafted kicker, Jake Moody. The Niners spent a third-round pick on the Michigan kicker and so far, the experiment has not gone smoothly.
While Moody has connected on all 24 extra point attempts, he has a 78.6 field goal percentage and has missed all three of his field goals over the past two weeks. One of those missed field goals would have been the game-winner in Cleveland.
Bengals are lucky to have Evan McPherson as their kicker
Moody did start the season on a high note but after the Niners didn't attempt a single field goal in back-to-back games, the rookie might have gotten a little rusty and it's shown. The Bengals hope that he'll continue to have the yips when they face Moody and his 49ers squad on Sunday.
For now though, the Bengals can continue to boast that their drafted kicker has gone on to be one of the best in the league. Given where Moody is at currently and the short-lived Cade York experiment in Cleveland last year, it appears that it's rare to find a kicker in the draft who can actually pan out.
The Bengals got a good one in Evan McPherson.