Pitt punter Ryan Winslow wasn’t selected in the NFL Draft but will still get a look by the Chicago Bears. Per Jerry DiPaola of the Trib, the Bears have signed him to a free agent deal.
Winslow was a tremendous punter in 2017 for the Panthers. He was named to the All-ACC First Team by both the coaches and media, and his 44.5 yard-per-punt average was best in the conference and 11th in the entire nation. The Bears were apparently one of four opportunities. He’ll compete with Pat O’Donnell and will have his work cut out for him. O’Donnell has been with the Bears for four years and has a career 44.9 yard-per-punt average. Last year, O’Donnell averaged a career-best 47 yards per punt, which was 8th in the NFL.
Not seeing Winslow selected wasn’t a surprise. Even as one of the better punters in the nation that were available (The Sports XChange rated him as the No. 6 punter in the draft), punters are often players that are scooped up as free agents.
Despite not being taken, I could honestly see Winslow sticking somewhere if he gets an opportunity. It’s always just sort of a ‘right time, right place’ deal with kickers and punters. There are so many out there and so few roster spots.