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Duke Tobin Reveals Mindset When Bengals Made Decision to Draft Evan McPherson

The 22-year-old has made four game winning kicks for Cincinnati so far this season.

CINCINNATI — Bengals kicker Evan McPherson has arguably been their Most Valuable Player in their two playoff wins. 

The rookie is responsible for 27 of their 45 points, including a game-winning 52-yard field goal against the Titans in the divisional round.

McPherson has made 11 field goals from 50 or more yards this season [including playoffs] and has quickly become one of the best kickers in the NFL. 

Cincinnati took McPherson in the fifth round (149th overall) in the 2021 NFL Draft. Some wondered if a team that finished 4-11-1 the year prior should use a mid-round pick on a kicker. 

Bengals Director of Player Personnel Duke Tobin shared some details about the decision to take McPherson in a recent conversation with Peter King of NBC Sports.

“My dad told me in 1985, when he was with the Bears, they took a kicker in the fourth round who made a huge difference in their Super Bowl team that year," Tobin told King. "That kicker was Kevin Butler. So it’s not without precedent, taking a kicker and having him make a real difference in your team. We felt good about Evan being there in the fifth round for us, and the difference he could make for us.”

The Bengals traded pick No. 38 to the Patriots in exchange for the 46th, 122nd and 139th picks in the draft. That allowed them to address another needs earlier in the draft, which gave them the freedom to take McPherson in the fifth round

“You have guys on your board that you’re saying, okay, if we make this deal we could get three guys we liked instead of picking only one," Tobin said. "It felt good to get three swings at picks in the fourth round.”

Ultimately, the Bengals picked Jackson Carman (46), Tyler Shelvin (122) and D'Ante Smith (139) with the other selections. All three rookies have played this season, but none of them have had as big of an impact as McPherson. 

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