It took Cole Kmet a couple of seasons but after a breakthrough campaign, he now finds himself as the top tight end prospect for the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft. Kmet finally put it all together in his junior year at Notre Dame and he's positioned to be an early-round pick in April.
Cole Kmet Draft Profile
College: Notre Dame
After an underwhelming first two seasons in South Bend, Kmet emerged as the best tight end in the nation last season and easily the position’s most talented and complete prospect in this class. He’s a pure athlete, a fluid mover with some suddenness at the snap and the speed to threaten the seams. He’s at his best working the deep middle, where he shows excellent ball-tracking skills over his shoulder and the flexibility and coordination to adjust to the off-target throw. He can work underneath and has some juice in run-after-catch situations; he’s a tenacious and violent ballcarrier. And his length makes him a natural in the red zone, something Notre Dame took advantage of more often last season, and he does an excellent job sealing defenders and attacking the ball in contested-catch situations. While he can flex out as a matchup nightmare, Kmet can also hold his own in-line as a blocker. He’s a natural knee-bender with the size and physical nature to mix it up.
Kmet has a limited body of work from college, in large part due to the fact that he was also devoted to baseball for the Irish. Aside from the one-year-wonder tag, Kmet could use more polish as a route runner. He was reliant on his physical gifts against collegiate competition but will have to develop a better feel for setting up routes in the NFL. He also has a habit of letting the ball get into his frame too often when facing the line of scrimmage.
He needs some refinement, but Kmet is an early starter who should immediately be a threat up the seam. He has a chance to develop into a legitimate two-way tight end in a league with fewer and fewer of them.
Final Grade: 1st round
(Top photo courtesy of und.com)