The Chicago Bears did not have a first round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, but the Bears still ended up with a first round talent when they selected Notre Dame tight end Cole Kmet. In the video above I discuss why the pickup of Kmet was made, and why it was so important for the Bears.
Below is a look at what the Bears brass said about Kmet and what outsiders are saying about the selection.
Ryan Pace, Chicago Bears General Manager — It's hard to find these tight ends, these 'Y' tight ends that are really well-rounded in that he's an asset in the pass game because of his size and his hands. He’s one of those guys that knows how to post up and body, collision and push off. He runs really well for his size. But then his blocking, he's just got the frame and the size and the temperament, the demeanor where we all think he's going to get a lot better as a blocker. To find that well-rounded 'Y' tight end, there's not a lot of them. So for us to get him where we did, was really advantageous for us.
Pace — That’s a big part of his value is that we really feel like he's getting better. He's just scratching the surface. And to be honest, you could see it this year on tape, when you watch some of the early games, and I think when you get to the Virginia Tech game, you could really feel his game taking off on all levels, and Cole will say that, too. So he's definitely an ascending player … now just focusing on football, with the mindset he has, with the drive that he has … you talk to everybody at Notre Dame they just rave about the person that he is and the approach that he has, and that’s all going to lead to him ascending as we go forward.
Andy Benoit, Sports Illustrated — Kmet is as classic a tight end as you’ll see, which allows recently signed veteran Jimmy Graham to play more of a receiving role. And don’t be surprised if the Bears go with more three-tight end sets this season. Creative offensive architect Matt Nagy understands that those packages make a defense slower and more predictable, and with ex-Chief Demetrius Harris already aboard, Kmet now gives this team three tight ends who can align almost anywhere as receivers.
Gregg Rosenthal, NFL.com — With only two picks in the first four rounds, the Bears could use immediate production from second-rounders Cole Kmet at tight end and Jaylon Johnson at cornerback. Neither position is easy to transition to, but there are starter snaps available at each spot, despite veteran TE Jimmy Graham's contract. Kmet has good receiving skills and a frame that could still add 10-15 pounds.
Dave Richard, CBS Sports — Cole Kmet has hints of Kyle Rudolph and Rob Gronkowski to his game -- a big, athletic tight end who can block well and make plays thanks to his girth as a receiver. But will he become more like Rudolph or more like Gronk? I'd lean toward Rudolph, especially if Kmet's catching passes from a so-so quarterback.
Mel Kiper, ESPN — Cole Kmet (43) is the clear best tight end in this class, and he will help Foles or Trubisky in the passing game and has the potential to develop into a solid blocker in the run game. Yes, the Bears brought in Graham, but they had zero tight ends gain 100 yards last season.
NFL.com — The Bears desperately needed a big-bodied TE with soft hands and outstanding ball skills. He is a physical force at the position and an improving blocker on the edge. Kmet also shows a knack for putting the ball in the paint as a red-zone weapon.
Sporting News — Kmet (6-6, 262 pounds) is still developing as a run-blocker, but his size, speed, quickness and hands make him a top-flight receiver for the position. He can contribute big-time by Year 2.
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