If you are “For The Brand” (shout out to Patt McAfee), you were pumped when former Florida Gators kicker Evan McPherson was selected with the No. 139 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. McPherson was the first kicker taken in the draft and the first special teams player overall taken in the draft.
That means Florida had the first non-quarterback taken, when the Atlanta Falcons took former Gators tight end Kyle Pitts No. 4 overall, and the first specialist taken. McPherson was the fifth Gators taken in the draft, following Pitts, wide receiver Kadarius Toney, who went No. 20 overall to the New York Giants, quarterback Kyle Trask, who went No. 64 overall to the Tampa Buccaneers, and cornerback Marco Wilson, who went 136 overall to the Arizona Cardinals.
As I noted in an article before, “McPherson leaves Florida as one of the greatest kickers in the program’s history. McPherson ended his career ranked first in SEC history with his 85% field goal percentage, which was also good enough for the 14th best in NCAA history. He hit 51 of his 60 field goals while also knocking in 149 extra points out of 150 attempts (99.3%).”
I figured that McPherson would be drafted in the 2021 NFL Draft, but I did not expect him to go this early. However, with the COVID-19 salary cap, adding a kicker in the draft is a smart business decision. And the Bengals are adding a really talented kicker too. McPherson should be able to have a successful career in the NFL, as he has the accuracy and the power to play in the NFL for a very long time.
McPherson made multiple 50+ yard kicks at Florida, with a career-high of 55 yards. McPherson should be able to highlight his impressive leg in Cincinnati with their high-scoring offense behind Joe Burrow and newly acquired wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase.