canada africa partner reservation What are your expectations for Tory Taylor?

What are your expectations for Tory Taylor?

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The Chicago Bears have entered the 2024 NFL Draft. Although they have only earned five selections, three of them have the potential to be the best at their respective positions in franchise history.

Chicago’s mediocre hitting and receiving records are well known, but did you know that only one punter in team history has made a Pro Bowl?

The Bears have never drafted a punter with the talent of Iowa’s Tory Taylor, and his leg strength and accuracy could help him break several punts for his team.

From HawkeyeSports.com:

Taylor broke Iowa’s single-season punting record for the third straight season. The 2023 Ray Guy Award recipient has an NCAA-best 86 punts for 4,119 yards, with his 47.9 average leading the Big Ten and ranking third nationally. Thirty-six of his kicks have traveled more than 50 yards (six kicks of 60+), 27 have been fair catches, 30 have been downed inside the 20, 11 inside the 10 and six inside the 5. He has only six touchbacks and opponents average only 8 .8 yards per return. He has 288 points for 13,297 yards – both school records – and his career average of 46.2 will break Jason Baker’s mark by season’s end. The Australian native was also named Eddleman-Field Big Ten Punter of the Year.

Last year’s punter, Trenton Gill, had trouble pinning opponents deep, and that was Taylor’s specialty as a Hawkeye, so I posed this question to our staffers.

Will Tory Taylor break Dave Finzer’s rookie record for kicks inside the 20-yard line (26 in 1984)?

And this is what we had to say.

Josh Sunderbruch: I think he is capable of that, but I hope he doesn’t get the chance. My guess is that he will have to deal with Finzer’s deep kick percentage, but the opportunities for him to ply his trade will be fewer than the 83 kicks (5.2 per game) that Finzer faced.

Sam Housekeeper: There’s a lot to it, right? Offensive success, the pace at which they decide to go for it on fourth and short, especially in the “questionable zone” around midfield. I think I’ll say no, but he certainly has a good chance of doing that.

Aaron Leming: Man… That’s a tough one. I wish I could sit here and say I was well informed about the Bears special teams records and/or expectations, but I’ll leave that to CHGO’s Adam Hoge. Considering they took Taylor in the fourth round, and he does some otherworldly things with the ball in the air, I say yes. I have no idea how or why he’s going to break the record, but expectations should be high. Especially considering he’s the highest-ranked punter since Mitch Wishnowski, who was drafted at No. 110 by San Francisco out of Utah in 2019.

ECD: Honestly, I’d rather not see our new punting sensation break any records this year. As Caleb Williams texted him: If all goes according to plan, he won’t kick so much to begin with!

Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.: For some perspective, in 2023 there were 15 bettors with more than 26 bettors within the twenty, five of which were betting for winning teams.

Taylor placed better than a third of his kicks inside the 20-yard line during his three years at Iowa

Bricklayer West: I can’t believe I’m so excited about a gambler, but Tory Taylor is a VERY good gambler. Some view his age (27 before the season starts) as a negative, but I think it means more maturity and less covariance, which tends to throw kickers/punters off course.

Taylor doll: He punted 93 times last year, so I hope we don’t punt that much. I think Chicago’s offense can move the ball in 2024 so he can be in a good position when he’s needed, so I say yes.

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