Being drafted to the NFL as a kicker is a rare accomplishment. Achieving success as a kicker after being drafted is even more of a rarity. For every Sebastian Janikowski, there is a Roberto Aguayo. Following a successful college career, Florida kicker Evan McPherson will be hoping to emulate the former rather than the latter after the 2021 NFL Draft.
Evan McPherson NFL Draft Player Profile
- Position: Kicker
- School: Florida
- Current Year: Junior
- Height: 5’11”
- Weight: 185 pounds
Tony Pauline’s Evan McPherson Scouting Report
Positives: Big-legged kicker who is also effective on kickoffs. Drives the ball off his foot on field-goal attempts, nicely follows through, and consistently puts the ball through the goalposts. Possesses a big-time leg and consistently drives kickoffs through the opposing end zone. Missed just one PAT in his Florida career. Connected on 85% of his field goals. Never had a kick blocked at Florida.
Negatives: Not a big-bodied athlete and will struggle to make the tackle when necessary. Missed some important kicks at Florida.
Analysis: McPherson is easily the best kicker in this draft and offers a big leg that he consistently uses to drive field goals through the uprights. A Day 3 selection, McPherson has starting potential at the next level.
Evan McPherson Player Profile
McPherson has been at the top of the game as far as kickers are concerned for a long time. A four-year starter at Fort Payne High School in Alabama, he contributed to place-kicking and punting duties. He did both to an extremely high level and was regarded as the No. 1 kicker in the nation as well as the fifth-best punter.
A three-star recruit, he garnered early attention with an offer from Miami. Throughout the spring of 2017, he would receive multiple offers before settling on Mississippi State. The Bulldogs were the first to experience his talents first hand at a junior camp and the first team to offer him the opportunity to kick in the SEC.
McPherson’s stock rose through his senior season. He nearly broke the state records for punt and kick length, with an 84-yard punt and 60-yard field goal coming up just one yard shy of the record for each. Another SEC team began to take notice, and following his senior season, McPherson flipped his commitment to join the Florida Gators. Before arriving at “The Swamp”, he impressed at the 2018 Under Armour All-American game, hitting both his field goals and successfully executing an onside kick.
McPherson’s college football career at Florida
McPherson replaced Eddy Pineiro, who was the last Florida kicker to head to the NFL Draft — although Pineiro went undrafted in 2018. McPherson made an immediate impact, hitting all 50 of his extra-point attempts and nailing 89.5% of his field goals. He led all freshman kickers while earning recognition as a semifinalist for the prestigious Lou Groza Award.
McPherson proved he wasn’t just a one-kick wonder by connecting on 17 of his 19 field-goal attempts in his sophomore season. Moreover, he hit 87.5% of his attempts of 40+ yards. Demonstrating the leg strength that made him the best kicker in high school, McPherson split the uprights on a then-career-long 50-yard field goal against FSU.
Although his field goal completion percentage took a knock in 2020 — making 17 of 22 attempts — McPherson still successfully converted all 52 extra-point attempts. He also boomed 4 field goals over 50 yards, a single-season school record for the Florida kicker. A 55-yarder against Ole Miss was the third-longest field goal in Gators’ history.
After three seasons as the starter, McPherson declared for the 2021 NFL Draft. He aims to be the first Florida kicker drafted since Caleb Sturgis was a fifth-round selection of the Miami Dolphins in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Evan McPherson’s best fits in the 2021 NFL Draft
McPherson’s leg strength and consistency should ensure that he at least gets consideration in the 2021 NFL Draft. Teams such as the Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles, and Los Angeles Chargers ranked amongst the lowest field-goal completion rates last season. Hence, these teams could take a flyer on a kicker. Additionally, the Detroit Lions and Tennessee Titans have aging kickers who didn’t perform to an exceptionally high level in 2020.
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