Caleb Williams, Bears

Caleb Williams, Bears


Quarterback Caleb Williams of the Chicago Bears.

The Chicago Bears selected the top-rated QB prospect in Caleb Williams during the NFL draft, but they also got the best player at another position later in the proceedings.

Tory Taylor was the best punter, and among the most heavily utilized, in the FBS last season as a member of the Iowa Hawkeyes. The Australian native earned consensus All-American honors as well as the Ray Guy Award as the nation’s top collegiate punter, per Hawkeye Sports.

Taylor averaged 48.2 yards per punt on 93 total boots over 14 games for Iowa (10-4) and has a career-long of 70 yards, which he kicked during his junior campaign. Over his four years at the school, Taylor recorded 127 punts (43.1% of his kicks) that left opposing offenses starting drives inside their own 20-yard line.

While punters don’t often get much glory at any level of football, the field position game is a critical element to special teams play, which often has a significant impact on the outcome of NFL contests — particularly the close ones. It is fair to say that the Bears landed themselves quite the asset in Taylor, which is why the team can justify using a fourth-round pick to draft its new punter.

However, Williams — the No. 1 overall pick in the first round — sent Taylor a text after his selection indicating that while the punter’s leg might be quite the underrated weapon, it’s also one the Bears won’t be deploying too often.

New Bears punter Tory Taylor said he got this text from Caleb Williams: “Hey, you’re not going to punt too much here.”

“New Bears punter Tory Taylor said he got this text from Caleb Williams: ‘Hey, you’re not going to punt too much here,’” Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic reported via an X post on Saturday, April 27.

Oddsmakers Predict Huge Year for Bears QB Caleb Williams

Caleb Williams Reaction Rome Odunze NFL Draft Chicago Bears News

GettyChicago Bears quarterback Caleb Williams.

Williams’ predictive analysis in just one line of text to a new teammate featured in a different phase of the game shows just about everything the Bears should want in a quarterback and a leader: confidence, amiability, inclusion and a recognition of how all parts of a team bring something to the table.

His text, while clearly meant to be at least somewhat humorous in nature, may actually prove an accurate prediction of Chicago’s future during Williams’ rookie year.

DraftKings Sportsbook posted odds for the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award following the draft’s conclusion, and the Bears’ QB is the leader at +200 (2-1 odds). ESPNBet also listed Williams as -110 (slightly more likely than not) to throw for over 3,450.5 passing yards during his rookie campaign.

Bears Have Stacked Offense Around Caleb Williams

Rome Odunze, Bears

GettyWide receiver Rome Odunze of the Chicago Bears.

Beyond gambling lines projecting a monster first year in the NFL for Williams, Chicago has loaded the offense with a significant amount of talent.

Williams will be throwing to Pro Bowler Keenan Allen, DJ Moore coming off a career year in every major statistical category and No. 9 overall pick Rome Odunze — and that’s just the top end of the wide receiver room. The Bears also have tight end Cole Kmet and dual-threat running back D’Andre Swift, who should have meaningful roles in the passing game next season as well.

It is a mediocre offensive line in Chicago that is of the greatest concern on that side of the football, though the group is relatively young and, assuming an upward trajectory for tackles Braxton Jones (left) and Darnell Wright (right), should improve in 2024 and beyond.

Luckily for the entire unit, the Bears now also have an expert punter in Taylor to help the defense out if and when the offense in Chicago happens to stall.

Max Dible covers the NFL, NBA and MLB for, with a focus on the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns and Golden State Warriors. He covered local and statewide news as a reporter for West Hawaii Today and served as news director for and Pacific Media Group’s family of Big Island radio stations before joining Heavy. More about Max Dible

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