The Bears filled their tight end need with a hometown prospect who was once a possibility to be drafted by the White Sox. The Lake Barrington native was a star football and baseball player at St. Viator, and he went on to play both sports at Notre Dame. In 2019, Kmet decided to focus solely on football and had a big junior season, catching 43 passes for 515 yards and six touchdowns before turning pro.
Strengths: Kmet is a well-rounded tight end with the upside to get stronger and better now that he is focusing solely on football. He tested well at the Combine and looks smooth in his routes as a natural pass catcher. He’s got great size and a catch radius the Bears need. The intangibles are off the charts. Ryan Pace will almost certainly declare that Kmet fits his “Bears box,” checking every box on and off the field.
Weaknesses: Kmet’s blocking needs improvement. He won’t be the fastest or the most sudden tight end in the NFL. At the Combine, he drifted away from the football in the gauntlet drill, suggesting he can do a better job of attacking the ball in the air. Not that it’s a bad thing, but Kmet is more Kyle Rudolph than he is George Kittle.
Ryan Pace's take: "This is really your classic "Y" tight end with the prototypical size and athleticism we look for in the position. He’s a big target, natural hands. He’s really tough after the catch, and he has the strength and temperament we want in the run game. And we feel his blocking is still improving, so there’s a lot of upside in that area. With Cole splitting time between baseball and football early in his college career, he’s still a young player with a lot of upside. And then you go beyond the physical traits. Just the outstanding make-up and the character."
The quote: “I've had quite a bit of contact with the Bears,” Kmet said on “The Hoge & Jahns Podcast” this week. “I know that they're potentially in the market for a tight end in this draft. Obviously, that would be very exciting for me as a hometown kid being able to play there. That would just be a childhood dream come true.”
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