Sunday, May 26, 2024

Bears Thought Tory Taylor Was About To Get Drafted By Different Team


The Chicago Bears knew how they wanted the 1st round to go with Caleb Williams and Rome Odunze. It went exactly as hoped. From there, it was a long wait until their next pick at #75 in the 3rd round. However, it turns out GM Ryan Poles already had a strong sense of how the board would unfold from there. He knew they would go offensive or defensive line at that next pick. After that, his goal was to land Iowa punter Tory Taylor in the 4th round. The team’s longest-tenured scout, Jeff Shiver, was a big proponent of the Australian native. It would come down to whether anybody else might decide to grab him first.

In the latest episode of 1920 Football Drive, Poles revealed an extra nugget about how the process unfolded. Once the 4th round began, the GM spoke to special teams coordinator Richard Hightower to double-check if he was all in on getting Taylor. He then stated his belief that the punter almost went to the Cincinnati Bengals at #115. They did take a player from Iowa, but it turned out to be tight end Erick All. That was the last noteworthy obstacle, allowing the Bears to get their guy.

The Bears read the board perfectly on Tory Taylor.

They knew they had good odds of getting him in the 4th round long before it even began. At the same time, they also knew he would never get to the 5th round. According to reports after the draft, other teams called Hightower upset the Bears pounced on the punter first. They had hoped he’d fall to them. Poles had no intention of letting that happen. The Hawkeyes punter was too much of a weapon to justify waiting any longer. Chicago feels they have upgraded the spot significantly.

Their confidence in him was obvious when they cut Trenton Gill shortly after the draft ended. Tory Taylor has the mixture of leg strength and accuracy most punters struggle to balance. He can boom a 70-yard bomb or drop a dot inside the 10-yard line. Field position was a constant issue for the Bears last season. Taylor should start changing that, giving the defense longer fields and the offense shorter ones. People never recognize the need for a good punter until you have one.

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May 26, 2024 1:28 pm

I’m surprisingly excited about this pick. I don’t care he was picked in the 4th round. How often are you able to pick a day one starter, who can change the course of a game, in the 4th round? Especially when this draft class started dropping in talent level pretty quickly. It will be amazing to finally have confidence in our punter. Hopefully he plays like I believe he will. Go Bears!

Dr. Steven Sallie
Dr. Steven Sallie
May 24, 2024 10:51 am

Napoleon Dynamite? Idaho or Iowa — not much difference today.

May 24, 2024 6:54 am

Loved the “Do I say I’m Ryan Poles?” And the “surf’s up mate” lines. The guy is made for TV. Elmer Fudd.

May 24, 2024 6:05 am

I vaguely remember Illinois playing them last year. The Illini D would have Iowa pinned in inside their own 20 and he would unload a 70-yard punt and Illinois would end up starting at their own 15. This happened several times that game. Ridiculous. For me to even remember a punter in a game he would have to be putting on a show. Yeah, this kids worth a 4th round pick.

Dr. Steven Sallie
Dr. Steven Sallie
May 24, 2024 5:49 am

So how has Tory done on the field after his poor first day? I really want to know.

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