Bears Select Cole Kmet with No. 43 pick in NFL Draft

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The Chicago Bears selected TE Cole Kmet with the No. 43 pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. Growing up in Illinois, Kmet played football and baseball at St. Viator High School in Arlington Heights, IL. He capped a strong football career with 773 receiving yards and four touchdowns during his senior season with the Lions. Kmet participated in the 2017 U.S. Army All-American Bowl and then committed to the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish as a tight end.

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 in 13 games. Kmet broke his collarbone during training camp and missed the first two games of his junior season. His draft stock went up after that, as Kmet had 43 receptions, for 515 yards and six TD over his final 10 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 a big man, Kmet (6-foot-6, 262 pounds) showed well at the NFL Scouting Combine. Kmet weighed in as the heaviest tight end, but finished first in the vertical jump (37-inch), second in the broad jump (10-foot-3-inch), 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.

Here’s why SI’s Kevin Hanson ranked Kmet as the No. 50 overall player on his big board:

A two-sport athlete (with baseball) at Notre Dame, Kmet initially planned to return to South Bend, but he could be the TE1 in a relatively weak class. Kmet has reliable hands, runs good routes and tested well at the combine.

2019 stats (Junior; Notre Dame): 515 receiving yards, 6 touchdowns (10 games)

2018 stats (Sophomore; Notre Dame): 162 receiving yards (9 games)

2017 stats (Freshman; Notre Dame): 14 receiving yards (4 games)

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