Cole Kmet is hoping to pick up the pieces of the dreams shattered by the Adam Shaheen experiment. “Baby Gronk” came to the Chicago Bears with plenty of hype in 2017. Then he did little more than spend most of his time rehabbing one injury after another. His failure left the tight end position is an appalling state of disrepair. That is why GM Ryan Pace made Kmet the Bears’ first draft pick of 2020.
Experts were somewhat split on the pick. Some made fun of the team for it because he was their 10th tight end on the roster by that point. Just one month after signing Jimmy Graham. Others liked the talent but felt better options were on the board. Former NFL QB Chris Simms was not one of those people. He’s been one of the most vocal supporters of Kmet since the draft process started. He even went so far as to compare the Irish standout to Rob Gronkowski.
When asked about it on the Under Center Podcast, he didn’t back down.
“Cole Kmet is a guy I’ve gotten to see the last two seasons at Notre Dame in person and he’s one of the more impressive players, in general, that I’ve seen on the field whether it was on Notre Dame or one of their opponents. In college football.
I mean again, to be that size…6’5 and a half, plus 260 pounds and be able to move the way he moves. There are not a lot of people on planet Earth that are that gifted and athletic. Fluid route runner. Fearless over the middle with people around him. Really good run blocker in the run game.
And he’s been playing baseball the past few years in the spring. He hasn’t even gone all-in on football yet. Nor do I think he’s done growing and filling out…Cole’s going to continue to get bigger.
I’m just trying to paint a picture…That this kid has big-time potential is what I’m saying.”
Simms watched more Cole Kmet than most have
A big reason to trust what Simms says is that he had a front-row seat. Since 2017 when he joined NBC Sports, he covered Notre Dame games as a studio analyst. So he watched Kmet develop over the course of two years. It’s not like he’s personally biased either. Simms went to college at Texas. This isn’t some sort of program favoritism. He truly believes the young tight end is that good.
The Bears certainly think the same. Head coach Matt Nagy and new tight ends coach Clancy Barone have already singled out how his impressive work ethic. He’s absorbed the playbook remarkably fast and is working out with QB Mitch Trubisky every chance he gets. The guy is 100% committed to his craft. Combine that with his well-advertised talent?
It’s hard not to see him finding success in the NFL.