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Caleb Williams Tells New Bears Punter Tory Taylor He Won’t Be Punting Often

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Shortly after being drafted by the Chicago Bears at pick number 122, former Iowa punter Tory Taylor received a congratulatory text from his new quarterback, which came with a declaration.

Taylor, who clinched the Ray Guy Award as the top collegiate punter, shattered the NCAA record with 4,479 yards on 93 punts, surpassing a yardage mark that had stood for 85 years. His 44.3 net yards per punt in 2023 ranked third in FBS, while his career average of 46.3 yards is the highest in NCAA history among punters with over 250 punts.

In many respects, Taylor was Iowa’s primary offensive weapon during their journey to the Big Ten championship last season. The Hawkeyes finished 130th out of 133 teams in points per game (16.6) and accumulated 3,284 total yards.

Taylor’s punts outpaced the Iowa offense by 1,195 yards, a scenario neither he nor his new quarterback anticipates happening in Chicago this season.

Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, Taylor is the latest talent to make it to the NFL from the esteemed Prokick Australia pipeline. He is the first Australian punter drafted since Mitch Wishnowsky was selected in the fourth round of 2019. Another Australian punter, Lou Hedley, landed with the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent in 2023 and secured the starting job.

The Bears entered the final day of the draft with one pick in the fourth round after drafting Williams with the first pick and pairing him with wide receiver Rome Odunze at No. 9 and offensive tackle Kiran Amegadije at No. 75.

It’s unusual to see specialists drafted in the fourth round, a rarity that has occurred only three times since 2012: Jordan Stout (Baltimore), Jake Camarda (Tampa Bay), and Wishnowsky (San Francisco).

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