Kmet’s Next Big Chance, the Rising Cost of Quarterbacking, Wild Prospect Comps, and Other Bears Bullets

It hit me while I was checking out the Bulls playoff schedule that things were lining up for one of the most rare Chicago sports doubleheaders. Because when they play the Bucks on Friday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m. CT, the Cubs will play the Pirates at Wrigley Field at 1:20 p.m. CT earlier that day. Double-dipping sporting events in the city is an absolute blast. But I’ve never done it with a playoff game. Hmmm…

•   I’m not really active on TikTok, other than when I’m using it to kill time, get a laugh, or try to learn some new dance moves I’ll laughably fail at attempting. But once in a while, I’ll stumble across some football content worth sharing. And today was one of *THOSE* days:

•   Let’s set aside the fantasy football implications for a moment. There will come a time to discuss how to properly address one of the toughest fantasy positions to fill, but that day isn’t today. Instead, I watched that video and found myself thinking about how there might not be a returning player (save for QB1) with more to prove in 2022 than Cole Kmet. The numbers up across the board last year:

2020 → 2021

»   Offensive snaps: 603 → 935
»   Targets: 44 → 93
»   Catches: 28 → 60
»   Receiving Yards: 243 → 612

•   Unfortunately, that up-tick in attention and production didn’t lead to more points. Kmet even went from six red zone targets in 2020 to 12 in 2022, but wasn’t able to turn those looks into scores. I’ll be curious see how much of that factoid was due to the offense, play-caller, and instability at quarterback. It sure would be nice to see Kmet take another statistical leap and find a chunk of touchdowns. Someone with his size (6-6, 260) and prospect pedigree (TE1 and a 2nd round pick in 20202) must make the most of his potential.

•   And to think, Kmet could be well-positioned to get an up-tick in the volume of his targets. Depending on how the Bears address receiver in the upcoming NFL Draft and in what remains of the offseason, Kmet could be in line to make a case to be Justin Fields’ second or third option on a given pass play. If that’s how the cookie crumbles, I can’t wait to see if/how Kmet takes advantage. Year 3 figures to be a big one for the Notre Dame product.

•   The Bears have done well drafting HBCU players. Walter Payton (Jackson State) comes to mind, but so does Tarik Cohen (North Carolina A&T). Over at Windy City Gridiron, Jacob Infante shares some HBCU prospects the Bears should have eyes on when they’re on the clock. Deion Sanders, the NFL Hall of Famer who is currently Jackson State’s head coach, has done wonders to put HBCUs and their prospects in front of people who otherwise might not have been considering them. Perhaps one of Coach Prime’s top players such as cornerback Al Young or receiver Keith Corbin III could make sense as possible Bears targets.

•   Who is the receiver Stefon Diggs with a Pogo stick? The offensive lineman who is Trent Brown as an ice skater? Or the tight end who is Dawson Knox if he ran like a gazelle? Ian Wharton (Bleacher Report) has some of the wildest draft prospect comps you’ll come across.

•   As someone who needs to work on taking his on advice, I’m sharing this as much for you as I am for me:

•   After seeing Derek Carr’s extension, it is not able that we are in the midst of witnessing a rapid spike in quarterback contracts. It shouldn’t see surprising considering how QB is the most important position in football (if not professional sports). But still … sheesh:

 

•   I sure am glad the Bears don’t have to make a call on Justin Fields for a few years. And if things start looking like they’ll work out, the Bears better start saving some money because that contract has the potential to be bonkers.

•   Chicago’s basketball team has an uphill climb against the defending NBA champs. But how bad could it be?

•   The wildest stuff happens in Philly:

•   Reese Johnson is sticking around for a few more years:

written by

Luis C. Medina, who you can find on Twitter at lcm1986, has been covering the Chicago Bears at Bleacher Nation since 2017. Since then, he has written about 3 head coaches, 5 play-callers, and 11 starting quarterbacks. Previously, Luis wrote about the Cubs and MLB at BN (2015-16) and worked in the Chicago Tribune sports department (2011-16). He also co-hosted a Cubs postgame show, Outside the Ivy, in 2019.

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