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Cole Kmet NFL draft profile and fantasy projection

Cole Kmet will come into the NFL greener than some tight ends, so the learning curve could be steep. But the Notre Dame alum has all the building blocks of a good NFL player.

Cole Kmet #84 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish reaches to try to catch a pass against the Boston College Eagles during a game at Notre Dame Stadium on November 23, 2019 in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated Boston College 40-7. Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Like many tight end prospects, Cole Kmet wasn’t a huge part of the Notre Dame offense until his junior season, but showed a lot, catching 43 passes for 515 yards and six touchdowns while missing two games with a broken collar bone. Kmet also played baseball at Notre Dame and appeared ready to return for his senior season, but had a change of heart. The dearth of tight ends in the 2020 draft may have been one reason.

Scouting Report

Kmet has all the building blocks for a successful tight end in the NFL. At 6’6”, 262 pounds and a 4.7 40 yard dash, he won’t be mistaken for a kicker any time soon. That size will help him as he adds more muscle and blocking technique in the NFL while his ability as a receiver will give him offensive upside.

His biggest weakness is as a blocker and he will likely get a crash course wherever he lands in the NFL, as he’s not a special enough offensive playmaker to be drafted for his pass catching solely.

As a two-sport player, he was behind in college and leaving for the NFL early will keep him behind, but that also gives teams the possibility of molding him more into their system. He has upside, but NFL teams will need to project just how much.

His 4.7 time as the heaviest tight end at the combine moved him up draft boards, as that speed should keep defenders honest and open up a more vertical passing game. He finished the combine with the fourth-fastest 40-yard dash, best vertical jump (37”) and second-best broad jump (10’3”) for tight ends, likely making him the first tight end off the board in 2020.

When it was reported in November that Kmet said he planned to return for his senior season at Notre Dame in 2020, I took him out of my rankings for this class. Now? He has entered the draft, and he’s my new No. 1 tight end. The 6-foot-5 Kmet doesn’t have a ton of experience and only caught 60 passes over three seasons, but he flashes an all-around game that is too good to ignore. -- Mel Kiper, ESPN

Mock Draft Results

Mel Kiper, ESPN: Jaguars
Daniel Jeremiah, Patriots
Eric Edholm, Yahoo Sports: (2nd round) Texans
Doug Farrar, Touchdown Wire: Isn’t in his first round picks

Fantasy impact: Rookie year

We can’t expect much from Kmet his rookie season. Tight ends usually have a steep learning curve in the NFL and Kmet will likely have a steeper one than some. Landing with the Patriots is probably the most-coveted spots for his fantasy development, but there really is no front runner for his services at this point.

Fantasy impact: Career

His range of career outcomes is wide, as he has untapped potential that could flourish or stagnate in the NFL. If he lands with the Patriots or another team who has a good history of offensive production, I like his prospects a little more, but I’m also willing to get on board in dynasty based on potential alone.