Bengals Stole Evan McPherson From AFC North Rival in 2021 NFL Draft

The Cincinnati Bengals stole kicker Evan McPherson from an AFC North rival at the 2021 NFL Draft.
The Cincinnati Bengals stole kicker Evan McPherson from an AFC North rival at the 2021 NFL Draft. / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

Evan McPherson went from being a fifth-round pick at the 2021 NFL Draft to a Cincinnati Bengals hero. After all, it was the 22-year-old's last-second field goal against the Tennessee Titans that booked Cincinnati an AFC Championship Game appearance against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Well, it turns out that McPherson almost wasn't going to be a Bengal. The NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported on Saturday's edition of Good Morning Football that the rookie kicker nearly ended up with one of Cincinnati's AFC North rivals.

McPherson Bengals News

Garafolo is reporting reported that the Cleveland Browns were planning to draft McPherson if the Bengals didn't nab him in the fifth round. Cleveland held two picks after Cincinnati that round, so they possibly could've selected him with one of those.

McPherson was a stud for the Bengals throughout the 2021 NFL campaign. He made 84.8% of his field goals while also completing 95.8% of his extra point attempts. He also handled kickoff duties, averaging 63.9 yards on 91 kicks.

Meanwhile, Chase McLaughlin only had a 71.4% field goal rating with the Browns in 2021. It's not hard to imagine their season could've been more successful had McPherson fallen into their laps at the draft.

Nevertheless, McPherson's success has continued into the playoffs, with him going a perfect eight-for-eight on field goal attempts during the Bengals' improbable postseason run.

Cincinnati is going to need him to bring his best self to Sunday's AFC Championship. The Bengals are currently 7.5-point underdogs, according to FanDuel Sportsbook's latest odds.

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Devon Platana is not a FanDuel employee. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.