Cole Kmet Is The Best Blocking Tight End In The Draft
Cole Kmet, Notre Dame
Weight: 262 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.7 seconds
Vertical: 37 inches
Broad Jump: 123.0 inches
The NFL is moving more and more towards prioritizing “big slot” tight ends. The players who can flex out from the OL and become mismatches against linebackers, safeties, etc. are becoming extremely valuable. However, there’s still a place for the more traditional tight ends that can bring a presence in the blocking game.
Cole Kmet brings that element to the tight end position with his size. He’s a mountain of a man at the position and was asked frequently to stay in and pass block, which is not a common occurrence for college tight ends. With that being said, does Kmet bring enough to the position to be fantasy football relevant? Will he be a steal at the end of Dynasty rookie drafts?
Those questions are answered here in my detailed scouting report on Cole Kmet (ratings out of five stars):
As established above, Kmet has the necessary size for the position. At 262 pounds, he has the size and strength to be able to stand in and block edge rushers consistently. NFL teams ask their tight ends to do this more than you would think, so he’s going to be a high target for a lot of NFL teams that value that characteristic. He does also have decent receiving ability, which gives him that necessary versatility that offenses desire.
RATING: ⭐⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Cole Kmet is a great add to this TE class – big bodied pass catcher that will thrive in the middle of the field and RZ pic.twitter.com/mIYtXYwnLa
— Connor Rogers (@ConnorJRogers) January 3, 2020
Route Running/Ability to Separate
Kmet’s not going to pop off the screen and wow you with his route-running ability, but he’s more than serviceable. He’s an incredibly intelligent player that knows how to recognize and read zone coverages and is able to sit down in the soft spots in zones to help move the chains. He is not an elite separator, however. Kmet’s game will be predicated upon his red zone and up-the-seam ability, rather than getting open consistently with great movability.
Kmet’s 40-yard dash at the 2020 NFL Combine was legitimately surprising to me. When you put on Kmet’s film, you don’t see that type of top-end speed, but that time will certainly help his draft stock. Kmet’s game isn’t built on breaking a tackle in the middle of the field and being able to break off a 30-yard run like George Kittle, for example. He’s a chain mover and possession type receiver who will be a reliable target, but may be near the bottom of the league in terms of RAC numbers.
— Notre Dame on NBC (@NDonNBC) October 13, 2019
Hands/Contested Catch Ability
He’s a reliable target in the middle of the field and has great hand-eye coordination. A natural receiver and great target in the red zone. There’s a lack of examples of him making contested catches, but no reason to believe he wouldn’t win in those.
RATING: ⭐⭐ ⭐ 1/2
Just how we drew it up.
Our first touchdown of the night was a beaut, Cole Kmet.
— The Fighting Irish (@FightingIrish) September 22, 2019
After the Catch
As mentioned previously, this is not going to be where Kmet makes his mark in the NFL. While Kmet may be great running in a straight line, like the 40-yard dash, he lacks bend or fluidity to his game. He runs very stiff and upright, which is going to prevent him from being able to break tackles consistently or set up defenders.
Kmet’s going to be asked to do this a lot at the next level. He consistently stayed in to pass block at Notre Dame and was reliable, so if a team drafts him highly, they’re going to expect him to do the same in the NFL. He’s a factor in the run game, as well, which will only boost his value for NFL teams.
RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 1/2
Projected Draft Spot
Opinions on where Kmet will be drafted are all over the place right now. This is not a great TE class, so we could go a full two rounds without seeing one drafted. The other side of that coin is that teams could have a dire need at TE and view Kmet as the No. 1 option, which would push him up draft boards to make sure they get their guy. Regardless, it’s hard to envision Kmet as a top-tier fantasy option for 2020 and beyond. Due to the amount of time he’s going to be asked to stay in and block, it’s hard to see him getting the necessary targets to have fantasy relevance. At this point, barring an absolutely perfect landing spot, it’s hard to justify taking Kmet with higher than a 3rd round Dynasty rookie pick.
Click here for our complete list of NFL Draft prospect profiles.