Tight end has been a revolving door of disappointment for the Chicago Bears in recent years.
Free agency hasn’t panned out. Not with Dion Sims. Or Trey Burton. Zach Miller was nice, but injuries shortened his career. The trade market hasn’t been helpful either, with GM Ryan Pace trading real draft capital to acquire Khari Lee (an undrafted free agent the year before), only to cut him before the 2016 season. And previously, the NFL Draft didn’t bring much help the last time the Bears picked a tight end in the second round.
Maybe things will be different this time around with the selection of Cole Kmet. At minimum, we should give this thing a chance to play out … right?
THE PICK (ROUND 2, PICK 43)
• Name: Cole Kmet
• College: Notre Dame
• Position: Tight End
• Height, weight, hand size: 6-6, 262 pounds, 33-inch arms, 10 1/2-inch arms
STATS TO KNOW
• 2019 stats: 10 games, 43 catches, 515 yards, 6 touchdowns
• Career stats: 23 games, 60 catches, 691 yards, 6 touchdowns
• Position ranking: 1st (ESPN), 1st (CBS Sports), 2nd (Pro Football Focus), 2nd (Walter Football)
NFL COMBINE RESULTS
• 40-yard dash: 4.7 seconds
• Vertical jump: 37 inches
• Broad jump: 123 inches
• 3-cone drill: 7.44 seconds
• 20-yard shuttle: 4.41 seconds
THREE STRENGTHS (FROM NFL.COM’s DRAFT PROFILE)
• “Rumbles after catch, treating tacklers like bumper cars” … That sounds like it would be fun to watch.
• “Can go get the ball wherever it is thrown” … Considering Mitch Trubisky’s accuracy issues, I feel as if this can come in handy.
• “Will come across formation and land a blow on wham blocks” … Always nice to add a willing blocker.
THREE WEAKNESSES (FROM NFL.COM’S DRAFT PROFILE)
• “Body control and strength as a blocker need work” … This feels like something that a good tight ends coach could fix.
• “Has issues playing through contact within the first five yards” … Be ready to get in the weight room, young man.
• “Inefficient and slow getting into block fits” … The transition from blocking in college and doing in the pros is a steep one, so straightening out this issue might take some time.
NFL.COM COMPARISON: Tyler Higbee
WHERE KMET FITS
The Bears’ need to fix the tight ends room can not be understated. So picking the highest-ranked player at the position in Round 2 should probably be accepted – see a need, address it with the best player on the board. Heck, Kmet might even be the most talented and athletically gifted tight end of the bunch. And from a Bears perspective, that immediately raises the talent level of a much-maligned position group.
But for Kmet to reach his full potential, he will need to straighten out some of his shortcomings as a blocker and route-runner, while simultaneously maintaining his strengths as a play-making pass-catcher who uses his size and length as an advantage over smaller defenders.
JUST FOR FUN:
Dude. How can you not love this?
It's Cole Kmet and his family finding out that he'd been picked by the Bears.
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) April 25, 2020