Cole Kmet, Notre Dame
Round Grade: 3rd
The 2020 tight end class doesn’t have the top tier talent of previous classes but some athletes could have successful careers when it’s all said and done. The tight end can be a difficult position to project because of how much they are asked to do.
San Francisco tight end George Kittle was a fifth-round pick and the ninth tight end selected in his draft. Because he caught 22 passes in his entire career, teams had a hard time project his receiving value even if he had a field day at the combine showing A+ athleticism.
Kmet and Kittle are completely different prospects but both have a similar number of questions coming out of college.
Standing at 6-foot-6 and 262 pounds, Kmet has great size to play as an inline blocker at the next level. With 33 inch arms and 10 1/2 inch hands, Kmet has the necessary length to block edge defenders. He can still look to fill in his frame and get stronger as he is an average run blocker and struggles with the strength aspect of run blocking.
2019 was the first season Kmet caught more than 40 receptions, totaling 43 receptions, 515 yards, and six touchdowns. Even though his production was solid, he still has a lot of room to improve as a route runner.
Kmet struggles to get in and out of brakes and is worse at catching contested passes than you’d expect from someone of his size. His body control could improve and that would be the result of getting stronger and having more experience and coaching.
Kmet would be a big reach for any team in the first round, but he would make for an interesting addition in the second round. If the Cowboys wanted Kmet, they’d have to position themselves in the early part of the second round.
Sometimes, teams will “reach” on athletic tight ends with the hope that they can help them reach their potential. (Cowboys have done this with another former Notre Dame tight end in Anthony Fasano)
Taking Kmet might not make sense as he has similar struggles to Blake Jarwin, but if the coaching staff isn’t sold on the ability of Dalton Schultz, the team might target a tight end like him earlier than we expect.