Browns get last laugh after drafting a kicker in the 4th round
The Cleveland Browns were mocked for taking a kicker in the 4th round of the NFL Draft and on Sunday, they were the ones laughing last.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, but in the end, Cleveland Browns kicker Cade York booted the game-winning field goal from 58-yards.
For the first time since 2004, the Browns won a season opener and it was all because they have finally found a long-sought-out kicker to replace the legendary Phil Dawson. General manager Andrew Berry and the Browns organization were ridiculed and mocked for drafting York in the fourth round of this year’s NFL Draft.
Well, at least for Week 1, the Browns are the ones who are laughing last. York was a perfect 4/4 on field goals and 2/2 on extra points. He booted field goals of 26, 34, 36, and the game-winning 58-yarder. The Cleveland social media team was all over the fact that this is why you draft a kicker. Last year, the Cincinnati Bengals drafted kicker Evan McPherson, who went on to kick them to both the AFC title game and the Super Bowl.
This was the longest-made field foal for the Browns since 1984. Dawson’s career-high is 57-yards and in one game, York already surpassed that. This was the first opening week win in 18 seasons, and the Browns finally kicked the monkey off their backs.
When York was drafted in the fourth round, it was the highest a kicker was drafted since 2016. While the rest of the league laughed at Cleveland, it was Berry who knew that kickers do matter in the NFL, and drafting the best one in the class was paramount.
This will be a game talked about for ages, especially if York proves to be as consistent as he was Sunday. Elsewhere in the AFC North, both McPherson and Steelers kicker Chris Boswell missed game-winning opportunities in overtime, but Boswell was able to knock one home to seal the victory. The Colts and Texans tied, as Indianapolis kicker Ricardo Blankenship missed the game-winner in overtime.
The Browns found a way to win and the win came off the boot of York, who would’ve nailed it from 68-yards. The accuracy and distance will be key this season as the Browns await Deshaun Watson to make his season debut in Week 13.
It was not the prettiest of wins, but a win is a win, of course, and it came off the fourth-round rookie kicker’s foot. You simply love to see it.
One last thing, sign York to a lifetime contract right now.