Monday, June 3, 2024

Bears Were Reportedly Lucky To Get Tory Taylor When They Did


The Chicago Bears got a lot of heat from certain sections of the media and fandom when they took Tory Taylor in the 4th round. Some people are naturally predisposed to hate when punters get drafted at all. Good specialists can be found in undrafted free agency and veteran free agency all the time. It seems like such a wasted draft pick. Never mind the fact that four punters have been drafted in the 4th round or higher since 2010. One is a two-time Pro Bowler and the other three are still with the teams that drafted them. The truth is punters drafted that high tend to work out more often than bust.

Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune spoke to people around the league about Taylor. It was clear almost immediately that he was leagues above everybody else in this class. In fact, there was an undercurrent that if the board fell a certain way, he was good enough to go in the 3rd or even the 2nd round. One thing was clear. If the Bears hadn’t pounced on him when they did, there was no way Taylor was making it to the 5th round.

GM Ryan Poles felt the odds of hitting on the pick were far higher by taking him.

I think it was a wise move because Taylor, whom the Bears drafted with the 122nd pick, was head and shoulders above the rest of the class in the estimation of evaluators I spoke with, including scouts and — more important — special teams coaches…

…Back to using a fourth-round pick on a punter. When I chatted with a couple of scouts, they thought Taylor was a likely fourth-rounder and one said he could envision a team making a move for him in the third round or even at the back end of Round 2. His thinking was that while it would be unorthodox, if you have conviction that Taylor would transform your punting game and make you one of the better units in the league for five-plus seasons, it makes sense. You’ve passed on the opportunity to take a player at a position with greater significance for a punter you believe is more of a sure thing. Most personnel folks will tell you a fourth-round pick has maybe a 50% chance of panning out as a productive NFL player, and some might say the odds are a little less than that.

Tory Taylor can change games.

His ability to boom long punts and consistently drop them inside the 20 was a huge reason Iowa had winning records despite an atrocious offense the past two years. Poles said his goal was to find ways to make opposing teams uncomfortable. Few things do that better than being backed up against your own end zone. While the Bears may not have invested much into their defense this off-season, they still managed to find a weapon that can help them in a vital way. Defending longer fields will make life so much easier for them.

The fact that Chicago cut Trenton Gill mere days after the pick went down should tell you all you need to know. They didn’t even bother with a camp competition. Tory Taylor is their guy. They believe in him that much. It isn’t hard to see why. He has tons of college experience, loads of talent, and is already in his mid-20s. He’s a grown man. There shouldn’t be much of a transition period for him. He could have success right out of the gate. The Bears believe he will. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have taken him so early.

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May 4, 2024 10:55 am

I was shocked by the pick but also happy. It came out of left field but I thought it made sense because aside from position, anybody on the board in the late forth has a good possibility of not making the team. This guy will make a difference.

I find the crux of this article to be laughable though because until you can show me proof that another teams GM said they were pissed because THEY WERE TAKING HIM WITH THEIR NEXT PICK, It’s nothing more than contrived BS.

May 4, 2024 9:04 am

Thunder from down under…coming to a Bears game this year! No one will care where he got drafted when he starts dropping punts Inside the 10 yard line.

May 4, 2024 2:30 am

The NFL has been devaluing the role of special teams every few years for over decade now. Considering the needs we still have at other positions, and certainly considering we have a completely new offense that hopefully won’t punt that often, it’s going to be difficult to get the value of a 4th round pick that was invested in this kid back anytime soon. Guys like Van Pran- Granger, Sataoa Laumea, Xavier Thomas, Marcellus Dial, Javan Solomon, Abrams-Draine, Ainias Smith, Christian Jones, Jacob Monk, Jaylin Simpson, were all still there… and I just don’t see a punter helping us as… Read more »

Dr. Steven Sallie
Dr. Steven Sallie
May 3, 2024 3:59 pm

Yes, we need good gunners and a good back blocker: FB Blasingame or RB Roschon, who can also run/pass if needed.

Dr. Steven Sallie
Dr. Steven Sallie
May 3, 2024 3:49 pm

Anyone protesting the selection of this punter should be arrested. Does someone know how many times his kicks have been blocked or returned for TDs, if any? I would have enquired earlier, but I was afraid to ask.

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