For the most part, the selection of Cole Kmet in the 2nd round of the NFL draft was met with widespread shrugs. Experts feel the Chicago Bears got a solid athlete with decent upside who can be a strong two-way tight end who can block and catch. It’s certainly a fun story. Kmet grew up in the Chicago suburbs and became a standout at Notre Dame. Playing for the Bears is a dream for him. One of his biggest advocates the past couple of months has been head coach Matt Nagy.
It hasn’t taken long for Kmet to endear himself to Nagy. Whenever the two are involving in virtual meetings, the rookie has stood out for his remarkably quick mastery of the playbook. His level of preparation and intelligence is evident. Combine that with his considerable talent and is it so unreasonable to have high expectations for him?
Nagy certainly doesn’t. He feels the rookie has a limitless ceiling. Hall of Fame-caliber. Why? He shares something with those types of guys.
“They’ve got that ‘want,’” Nagy said. “They got that little different thing that makes them great.”
Nagy sees that in Kmet. And, yes, he claims he can tell from Zoom meetings.
“What [Kmet] is going to have to grow with is understanding the defenses in the NFL, understanding how strong a defensive end is that he’s going to have to block as a 9-technique, or a 7-I technique on a blast play to the outside,” Nagy said. “It’s different, what the speed’s like, when the ball comes on you, when the coverage changes.
“He’ll do that because he has the ‘want.’ So when you see that feeling of someone like Cole, you see the personality, the size, the strength, the makeup. How do you not get excited about that? I am, and I’m looking forward to his future.”
Cole Kmet has more fans than just Nagy around the league
The reality is it was difficult for Kmet to establish himself on a high level in the eyes of draft experts. He had only one standout year of production for the Irish and also missed some time with a collarbone injury. Combine that with being part of what was viewed as a “weak” draft class for tight ends? Then it makes sense why optimism is somewhat limited. That said, Kmet does have his fans.
If people are being honest, nobody knows anything about how this will go. Too many times experts felt they had a prospect figured out. Then a few years later they realized how wrong they were. The only things that will determine Kmet’s career are himself and lady luck. His own hard work and desire to be great coupled with a fortunate bout of good health. Such is the reality for every football player.