The Chicago Bears' selection of punter Tory Taylor is better than fans realize

Based on the value around him, Tory Taylor was the right pick. And here's why...
Bryon Houlgrave/The Register / USA TODAY
Bryon Houlgrave/The Register / USA TODAY / Bryon Houlgrave/The Register / USA TODAY

When looking at the 2024 NFL Draft breakdown, some Chicago Bears fans might question why Ryan Poles spent his limited draft capital on a punter. And when looking at it as simply as that, sure, there's reason for the upward tick in some eyebrows.

However, the Bears didn't just draft a punter. No, no. The Bears drafted the best punter in the nation.

The Chicago Bears select punter Tory Taylor with the 122nd pick of the 2024 NFL Draft

Coming into this year's draft, the Bears had four picks: No. 1, 9, 75, and 122. Now, they also had picks from this draft be used on other players, like Montez Sweat and Keenan Allen, so the idea that their draft class is limited is only partially true.

Neither Sweat nor Allen are coming onto the team as rookies next year, however, their ability to produce is important. That's especially true when looking at the Tory Taylor selection.

In the 2024 NFL Draft, there was a hard tipping point where talent went from likely starter to likely rotational depth piece. At where the Bears were drafting, a majority of the players they could've drafted in the positions they were looking at would've likely been a guy who sees most of his action during practice. Maybe they'd come in on big packages, but for the most part, the late fourth round isn't usually a spot where true starters are found.

Instead of trying to address depth, the Chicago Bears made a splash on a position that will yield better results than a majority of players they could've drafted at this spot.

As a punter for the Iowa Hawkeyes, Taylor comes into the NFL having plenty of reps under his belt. IN 2023 alone, Taylor punted nearly 100 times, accumulating over 4,400 yards. In 2023, Taylor was awarded the Ray Guy Award for the Most Outstanding Punter, while also earning 2023 Consensus All-American honors.

Compared to the Bears' punter last year, Trenton Gill, Taylor clears. Gill punted 67 times in 2023 for just over 2,500 yards, pinning opponents within their 20-yard line on 26.9% of punts.

Sure, the Chicago Bears could've selected a rotational defensive lineman who adds depth to a position that needs it. Instead, however, Ryan Poles knew Tory Taylor is special, and he knows that Taylor is more critical in winning than a developmental depth piece. Pinning the opponent deep in their own territory is a much more important part of winning than getting third-down reps from a guy who might not be on the team in a couple of years.

Ryan Poles, you did it again. Your statue will look great in Chicago one day.