Notre Dame's Cole Kmet Ranked No. 1 Tight End Draft Prospect

Bryan Driskell

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.

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Comments (16)
No. 1-5

I assume his desire to play baseball (with his brother, no less) is the reason he might continue at ND. Or is the lure of being a 1st-Round pick too much to keep him in the bend?


I always thought he was going to declare for the draft this year. He is clearly the number 1 TE this year and next year's TE class is loaded


Coach D:

Brian Kelly stated conclusively that he knows the 2020 roster but the NFL evaluations are not in yet. Do you think truly no player will be impacted by their evaluations?

Irish For Life
Irish For Life

Coach - What do you tell someone like Kmet to "recruit" him to return?

How close is Kmet to graduating? Did he finish in three years like ND shoots for?

Irish For Life
Irish For Life

*** Hope this stays ***

Coach D : What would you advise Kmet to do in his case?

Has Kmet graduated in three years as ND shoots for? If not, how close is he?

How would you "recruit" him to return?