Browns select kicker Cade York in fourth round of 2022 NFL Draft

The first kicker is off the board and headed to a team that sorely needs him.

The Cleveland Browns selected LSU kicker Cade York with the 124th pick of the 2022 NFL Draft on Saturday in Las Vegas.

York heads to Cleveland with a strong collegiate resume, earning second-team All-American honors in 2020 after converting 18 of 21 field-goal attempts and all 36 of his extra points. He garnered All-SEC selections in both 2020 and 2021, and converted 15 of 19 field-goal attempts from 50-plus yards out during his career with the Tigers.

York’s selection is the earliest a kicker has been taken in an NFL draft since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers spent a second-round pick on Roberto Aguayo in the 2016 draft. York is also the second kicker drafted by the Browns since 2019, when the team spent a fifth-round selection on Oklahoma’s Austin Seibert.

Things didn’t pan out for Seibert in Cleveland, but the Browns are hoping York’s tale proves to be more fruitful. Cleveland has lacked reliability from their kickers essentially since the departure of Phil Dawson back in 2013, cycling through a number of boots in recent years (Seibert, Greg Joseph, Cody Parkey and Zane Gonzalez) and relying on Chase McLaughlin and Chris Naggar in 2021.

The selection of York could also be a bit of a copycat move on the part of the Browns, who watched the division rival Cincinnati Bengals spend a fifth-round pick on Evan McPherson in the 2021 draft, then rode his clutch kicking all the way to an appearance in Super Bowl LVI.

Cleveland will enter 2022 with York penciled in as its starting kicker. After years of turnover at the position, the Browns will hope York ends the persistent spinning of their kicker carousel.

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