1. Tight End pedigree
If the Chicago Bears took an Adam from a small school with their 43rd pick, the disappointed reaction might have been a bit more understandable. As mentioned, Trautman may be graded similarly to Kmet by some. Aside from Kmet being two years younger, the difference is that like Shaheen, Trautman shows upside against small-school opponents, while Kmet played at Notre Dame, squaring off with NFL caliber defenders.
You scout the player and not the helmet, but historically, when Notre Dame has a good tight end come into the NFL, he is safe.
Since 2000, this is the list of NFL tight ends drafted in the first three rounds from Notre Dame.
Anthony Fasano, John Carlson, Kyle Rudolph, Tyler Eifert, Troy Niklas.
Eifert had injury questions, and you can argue Fasano and Carlson are not elite tight ends, but Niklas is the only one not to have a productive NFL career. When teams identify a Notre Dame tight end as worthy to draft high, there is good reason.
The biggest contributor for all is that they came into the NFL ready to block. Kmet can get on the field early if he can provide as a blocker, and it can open up the rest of the offense to do a lot. Saying that the Bears top rookie pick in 2020 got on the field situationally to help block and in the red zone is not sexy, but it fills a need.
Adding in that he has athletic upside, on-field upside, and is younger than his peers, there is something to be excited about with the Cole Kmet pick.