Thursday, January 21, 2021

Bears select Cole Kmet with 43rd pick

Having sat out Thursday’s opening action of the 2020 NFL draft, the Bears took Notre Dame TE Cole Kmet with the 11th pick of the second round. With the first-round pick in the hands of the Raiders as part of the Khalil Mack trade the Bears had to be patient, but the wait was well worth it.

The 6’4″ 235 pounds Kmet, represents the latest attempt by Ryan Pace to add a major weapon at the tight end position. A two-sport athlete, having also played baseball at Notre Dame, Kmet looks likely to be used mostly as a receiving option give how raw he is as a blocker.

Cole Kmet is raw by exciting

Cole Kmet saw very little action on the field prior to the 2019 season, posting 17 receptions for 176 yards and no scores. But he exploded onto the scene in week 1 of 2019, hitting the Georgia Bulldogs for 9 receptions, 108 yards, and his first touchdown. He would finish the year with 43 catches, 515 yards, and 6 touchdowns.

Kmet has great hands and hand-eye coordination and when combined with his big frame and extension skills he is great at contested catches. A smooth release, and great route tree running make Kmet a day one threat as a receiving tight end.

He shows his rawness in his blocking where he is serviceable in chipping and helper blocking before releasing but struggles if asked to hold on to blocks. His size and strength and good hand usage should allow him to be coached up into a good blocker. He needs to work on his footwork as well as he tends to lose his base while blocking.

Cole Kmet announced himself against Georgia in the 2019 opener © Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Cole Kmet announced himself against Georgia in the 2019 opener © Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Kmet has landed in the ideal spot with the opportunity to learn from one of arguably the best receiving tight end’s in the history of the game in Jimmy Graham. With Graham signed through 2021, Kmet has the perfect opportunity to play behind Graham and learn everything he can before the expectations increase too much.

This has the potential to be a great pick for the Bears, especially if Kmet can improve his blocking.

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