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After losing last season's starter in free agency, the Cincinnati Bengals took the first kicker in the 2021 NFL Draft.
The Bengals selected Florida kicker Evan McPherson with their fifth round pick on Saturday. He was 51-for-60 on field goals and 149-for-150 on PATs during his college career, and McPherson the SEC with a career field goal percentage of 85.0.
"Just as an offensive coach, especially with guys that can hit from long distance… it was a huge difference when your field goal range started creeping closer to the 40-yard line than the 35," offensive coordinator Brian Callahan said. "Any guy that can score points for us, I'm all for."
McPherson is the first kicker the Bengals have drafted since Jake Elliott from Memphis in 2017. Elliott never played for the Bengals in the regular season, losing a training camp competition to Randy Bullock.
Bullock was the Bengals kicker for four seasons, but he lost his starting spot late in 2020 to Austin Seibert. Seibert remains on the roster, and he'll likely compete with McPherson.
McPherson's college career long is a 55-yard field goal, but he made a 60-yarder in high school.
This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: 2021 NFL Draft: Cincinnati Bengals pick Florida K Evan McPherson