Notre Dame's Cole Kmet Ranked No. 1 Tight End Draft Prospect
When asked about his future plans back in November, Notre Dame junior tight end Cole Kmet stated he planned to return to college for his senior season. Of course, that could all change if NFL teams tell the talented pass catcher that he could be a first-round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.
At least one respected draft analyst views Kmet as the top tight end in the entire draft. The Athletic NFL Draft analyst Dane Brugler has Irish defensive end Julian Okwara going in the first round of the draft, but he also ranks Kmet as the best tight end in the draft, even though Kmet has yet to declare.
Kmet missed the first three games of the season with a broken collarbone, but he returned with a vengeance, hauling in nine passes for 108 yards and a touchdown in a loss at Georgia. Kmet caught a touchdown in five of the first six games he played in this season, and he was clutch in Notre Dame's win against USC, hauling in six passes for 61 yards, including a crucial third-and-7 conversion on the game-icing final drive.
Kmet thoroughly outplayed another Top 10 tight end prospect - Colby Parkinson - in Notre Dame's 45-24 victory at Stanford. Kmet hauled in five passes for 77 yards, while Parkinson had just three catches for 37 yards while struggling in the run game.
The Lake Barrington, Ill. native has an outstanding combination of size (6-5 1/2, 250) and athleticism, and his ball skills are top-notch. Kmet still needs work as a blocker, but that part of his game saw a major jump this season, especially late in the season.
Kmet’s 41 receptions rank seventh all-time at Notre Dame for a single season, and he’s just one reception behind Tony Hunter at No. 6, and just six catches behind John Carlson and Anthony Fasano at No. 4.
Kmet’s 482 receiving yards ranks eighth in a single season, just one yard behind all-time great Ken MacAfee, 16 yards behind Troy Niklas, 25 yards behind Hunter and 94 yards behind Fasano. His six touchdown receptions tied MacAfee for the most ever in a single season at Notre Dame.