Welcome to NFL 2020 Draft Week! Being conducted in a fully virtual format, 255 former top NCAA players will be selected during seven rounds. The draft kicks off with the first 32 selections on Thursday, April 23, followed by two rounds on Friday and four rounds on Saturday. The betting board at Bovada is loaded with a variety of unique NFL draft prop options. The draft position of Notre Dame TE Cole Kmet is the focus of this SI Gambling feature.
Tight End NFL Draft History
Evolving from a run- and pass-blocking specialist in the early days, to receiving and scoring weapons they are today, tight ends are a vital part of a productive offense. That is evident by the fact that some teams use two TE sets in today's pass-happy NFL. That was a recipe for success in Baltimore, as Mark Andrews and Hayden Hurst helped the Ravens post a franchise-best 14-2 record in 2019. Nine tight ends were first-round picks during the last ten drafts.
It was ten years ago when New England selected Rob Gronkowski at No. 42 overall during the second round of the 2010 draft. Jermaine Gresham was taken at No. 21 in the first round, and Jimmy Graham went at No. 95 during the third round that year. Based on Cole Kmet's draft position odds, 18 tight ends have been selected in the top 44 over the last ten NFL drafts. Detroit took T.J. Hockenson at No. 8, and Denver picked Noah Fant at No. 20 during the 2019 draft.
Baltimore selected Hayden Hurst (25) in the first round, and Miami took Mike Gesicki (42) in the second round as the only top 44 picks during the 2018 draft. Tight ends were popular early during the 2017 draft as O.J. Howard (19), Evan Engram (23), David Njoku (29), and Gerald Everett (44) were all top 44 picks. Tight ends have been selected in the top 44 by 15 different teams since 2010. Detroit, Cincinnati, and Tampa Bay lead the way with two TE selections each.
Cole Kmet was a dual-sport athlete as he played baseball and football at Notre Dame. An elbow injury forced Kmet out of baseball in March 2019. Quiet during his first two football seasons, Kmet had just 17 catches for 176 yards during 13 games. Kmet broke his collarbone during training camp and missed the first two games of his junior year. His draft stock went up after that as Kmet had 43 receptions, for 515 yards and six TD, over his final ten games.
Kmet is a versatile tight end with a skill set to split out wide as a receiver or line up on the end as a run blocker or pass protector. Quick and agile for big man, Kmet (6' 6", 262) showed well at the NFL combine. Kmet weighed in as the heaviest tight end but finished first in the vertical jump (37"), second in the broad jump (10' 3"), and his 4.70 time in the 40-yard dash was fourth fastest. While his blocking needs polishing - teams will look at Kmet as pass-catcher first.
Possible Landing Spots
During a recent mock draft, I have New England taking Kmet at No. 23 overall. That mock is based on current team needs and didn't involve trades, so I wouldn't bet on that happening. As outlined by Devon Clements, at Patriot Maven, there is a good chance the Patriots trade out of the first round. Chicago’s first pick is 43rd in the second round, so they may consider a trade. Conversely, the Bears need a TE prospect so they may keep the pick and use it to select Kmet.
Jimmy Graham signed with Chicago as a free agent, so the Packers need a tight end. Kmet was a heavy favorite to be the first tight end taken back in mid-march. I suggested Green Bay at pick No. 30 as a landing spot on that prop option. That favors bettor's looking at the UNDER as Kmet would be a sure-handed safety value over the middle for Aaron Rodgers. Greg Olsen signed in Seattle, so Carolina taking Kmet at No. 38 would also cash under tickets.
Draft Spot Prediction
SI draft expert Kevin Hanson has Adam Trautman (Dayton) and Brycen Hopkins (Purdue) with Kmet on his top-three tight end ranking list. Bodog has OVER 44.5 as the favorite with (-190) juice while players are tempted with a (+145) money line to back UNDER. Kmet checks in at No. 50 on SI Top 255 Big Board, and several positions are stacked with talent. An Illinois native, Kmet may land close to home in Chicago. Place a small bet on the dog with UNDER here.
The Play: UNDER 44.5 (+145)
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