No.1: Evan McPherson, Kicker, Cincinnati Bengals (RD: 5 PICK 149)
Joe Burrow gets credit as the quarterback who went into Arrowhead and knocked off Patrick Mahomes. But, the person who made the winning score was a fifth-rounder from Florida. Evan McPherson’s rookie season put the NFL world on notice, as he and his troop of Tigers found themselves minutes away from a Super Bowl title.
Though the season ended with disappointment, it’s hard to believe how fortunate Cincinnati was to land a confident yet disciplined kicker.
This past postseason, McPherson was 14-of-14 on playoff field goals and set the record for most field goals made by a rookie. He also tied the record for most field goals made in a single postseason.
In the regular season, he was 28-of-33 on field-goal attempts (84.8%), including 9-of-11 (81.8%) on attempts that were 50+ yards. One season doesn’t define a career, but as of right now, McPherson may have been the biggest steal of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Again, luck plays a role, and in the year of the Tiger, Cincinnati was undoubtedly fortunate.