Bears GM Ryan Poles Drafted a Punter to Make Opponents Uncomfortable

The Bears didn't draft a punter just for kicks.
Feb 3, 2024; Mobile, AL, USA; National punter Tory Taylor of Iowa (9) punts during the first half of
Feb 3, 2024; Mobile, AL, USA; National punter Tory Taylor of Iowa (9) punts during the first half of / Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports
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Bears general manager Ryan Poles appeared on The Pat McAfee Show on Wednesday to break down the team's draft picks. After selecting Caleb Williams first, Rome Odunze ninth and offensive lineman Kiran Amegadjie in the third round, the Bears picked Iowa punter Tory Taylor in the fourth.

McAfee was excited to hear what Poles had to say about the All-American Ray Guy Award winner and for good reason. Poles clearly feels like the Bears picked up a legitimate weapon in Taylor and feels like he's the kind of player who will make opposing teams "uncomfortable."

“I didn’t expect him to get much further. Definitely didn’t think I’d be able to pick him up when we got to the fifth round,” Poles said. “And, really, the thought process there is to make anyone we’re playing really uncomfortable. I didn’t play much in the NFL but I know running onto the field and having the ball spotted inside the 10-yard line is a very uncomfortable feeling. It’s disheartening at times. And I love taking advantage of field position. And, really, that should help us with points as well. So I think he's going to add to our team and again make it uncomfortable for any team we're going against."

Contrast that with Caleb Williams' intial text message to his new teammate: "hey you're not going to punt too much here." That's the thing about punters. It's nice to have a good one, but no one actually ever wants to see them play because that means a drive stalled.

That's the beauty of football. It's eleven different players doing very different jobs in concert on every single play. They say it takes a village to raise a child, but it takes almost as many to win a football game. If Taylor doesn't get much action this season, it would seem this was a wasted pick, but if he does see a lot of playing time, that's not a great sign for the Bears top pick either. Hopefully, the Bears can find a happy medium or Poles will end up being the one who feels uncomfortable.

Stephen Douglas


Stephen Douglas is a Senior Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. He has been in journalism and media since 2008, and now casts a wide net with coverage across all sports. Stephen spent more than a decade with The Big Lead and has previously written for Uproxx and The Sporting News. He has three children, two degrees and one now unverified Twitter account.