Finding NFL comparisons for Cole Kmet

ATHENS, GEORGIA - SEPTEMBER 21: Cole Kmet #84 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish catches a second quarter touchdown in front of Monty Rice #32 of the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on September 21, 2019 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GEORGIA - SEPTEMBER 21: Cole Kmet #84 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish catches a second quarter touchdown in front of Monty Rice #32 of the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on September 21, 2019 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

If the Chicago Bears draft tight end Cole Kmet, what type of outcomes could they expect?

When it comes to the NFL draft, everybody loves comparisons. However, a lot of them can be outlandish or do not make sense for who the player is at all. The best part about the NFL combine is that we get data going back all the way to the first one and can compare to find historical comparisons based on size and athletic ability. We are going to do just that with Notre Dame tight end Cole Kmet.

Kmet checked in at 6’6″ and 262 pounds. He ran a 4.7 in the 40, and a had a 37″ vertical. He also posted a 123″ broad jump, a 7.44 3-cone, and a 4.41 short shuttle.

When looking at players who came within reasonable comparisons to that size, and athletic style, 27 players matched, and 20 who made NFL contributions. These are the best comparisons and potential outcomes.

Floor comparisons

Anything can happen. We all think that what we saw on college video will equal one thing, but in reality, it turns out the change is a lot different. Things change with money and different situations on the line, so when you draft a player, you will undoubtedly consider ceiling-and we will get to that. But you also have to consider the floor.

Below you can see some potential low-end outcomes of drafting Kmet.

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Stocker has been in the NFL from 2011-2019, which is a stable floor. Of course, he has stuck around as an average mover who can block and use his size as a red zone helper. He plays about 20 snaps per game. Fans know Dion Sims, and while Kmet is more explosive coming out, the 3-cone shows similar agility abilities. Most would groan at the comparison, but injuries stunted Sims on a new contract. His first four years is what brought his signing. If anything, Kmet floor being Sims should show the Bears like that physical style in their tight end, and that the can trust that as a rookie, he can fill the role they once planned for him. Lastly is Fiedorowicz, who was a depth tight end and red zone threat for four years, but he never stuck around. Again, this is as low as it could get.

Recent comparisons

Two players popped up from the 2018 NFL draft. Both are a bit unknown still, but give a good idea of how you can expect Kmet to progress. Below is a comparison to Mark Andrews and Ian Thomas.

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Kmet is already a better blocker than Andrews, but it did take Andrews a rookie season to really come around before breaking out in year two. If the Bears traded off a bit of a better blocker and a bit of a lesser receiver to Andrews at a similar overall ability, they would certainly take it.

Ian Thomas is arguably his best comparison yet. They posted the most similar explosion scores. Thomas has been sitting behind Greg Olsen for two seasons and is expected to get going in year three. Andrews and Thomas were both 21 years old when they were drafted and took at least a year to develop. The same thoughts should be had towards Kmet, where, as mentioned, a rookie year meeting the floor as a Dion Sims replacement is realistic.

Best Overall Comparisons

When you watch Cole Kmet play, and you compare his physical and athletic abilities to recent NFL examples. These are some of the best comparisons that you can find.

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Vance McDonald has had injuries hold him back, but when he is at full strength, he is a versatile weapon in the passing game and as a blocker. Both Kmet and McDonald excel at pulling from one end to the other as blockers, and both can work after the catch at times but are more known for their size in the passing game.

McDonald is a good one, but Martellus Bennett might be the best overall NFL comparison to Cole Kmet. Both have the size and red zone ability. Both are more straight line players, as shown in their agility times. Kmet profiles similarly to Bennett as a blocker. Considering Kmet would come in as a rookie, most fans would take that type of player in the offense for the future.

Gresham lasted in the NFL 2010-2018 and was a reliable receiving threat throughout his career. Gresham and Mercedes Lewis were first-round picks who had good careers, but not great considering their first-round status. Lewis has extended his career as a blocker. Still, if those were second-round picks, their careers would be respected a bit more. That is where Kmet would get selected in Chicago.

The Rob Gronkowski Comparison

Only because it is in there does it have to be addressed. Rob Gronkowski was injured coming out of college and did compete at the combine. He did work out at his pro day, and while he was coming off an injury, it worth noting the numbers are there for Cole Kmet.

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Gronkowski was 20 when he was drafted and averaged over 14 yards per reception in college. Kmet averaged 12 yards per reception in college and will be 21 when he is drafted. Still, we are going to go through more tight ends in this draft class, and none will be as close to Gronkowski.

Overall, the best NFL comparison for Kmet is Martellus Bennett. A floor type of player would be Dion Sims, and the upside at the highest level could be Rob Gronkowski.