Chicago Bears fans must stop comparing Cole Kmet to this tight end
Chicago Bears fans were in full force on social media this weekend after Notre Dame alum Chase Claypool recorded four touchdowns for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the team’s 38-29 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. Claypool saw 11 targets in the game — two more targets than he had seen in the previous three games combined. Claypool has a total of five touchdowns on the year, but his four-touchdown performance is what really caught Bears fans’ attention.
Almost immediately social media was full of fans claiming how the Chicago Bears were stupid to draft Cole Kmet at 45 overall. Ryan Pace needs to be fired chants started again as fans cried about Pace drafting for need as opposed to the best player available. Many even started calling Cole Kmet the next Adam Shaheen. Clearly, these fans’ anger is misplaced. It probably did not help that Adam Shaheen caught a touchdown pass for the Dolphins this weekend too.
Cole Kmet will not be a draft bust for the Chicago Bears like Adam Shaheen
The thing is, comparing Cole Kmet and Shaheen is straight-up bonkers. There is no reason that these two names should be in the same sentence other than drafting Kmet in the second round was the first time the Bears used that high of a pick on a tight end since Shaheen was drafted in 2017. Outside of that sentence, there really is no comparison.
Wait, but they are almost the same size and their Combine measurables are nearly identical too. Yep, I do not care. Cole Kmet is not Adam Shaheen and I have plenty of faith in the tight end not being a draft bust.
As of now, Cole Kmet has one catch on three targets for 12 yards. That’s it. Three targets in itself are alarming to most fans. The thing is, Kmet was not drafted to be a big receiving threat right away. He was assigned the “Y” tight end role which is the in-line blocking role. Furthermore, he was always going to be third on the depth chart. I predicted that months ago. Jimmy Graham would be the starting “U” (or move) tight end while Demetrius Harris would start at the “Y”.
The positive about Kmet is that he has seen 31 percent of the offensive snaps this season. Compare that to Adam Shaheen who never saw more than 24 percent of the snaps here in Chicago. Furthermore, Kmet has only seen 25 percent of the special teams snaps while Shaheen played on 36 percent of his rookie snaps with the special teams units.
Kmet may not be lighting the world on fire, but give him time. He is playing the hardest position to learn when making the move from college to the NFL. Kmet was a top-100 recruit. Some might be concerned about his lack of production at Notre Dame, but according to our Notre Dame insider Nathan Erbach, Kmet was limited by a high ankle sprain in 2016 and a broken collarbone his junior year in 2017. His limited playing time in college also means a slightly longer time to adjust.
I know it is hard to see fellow Notre Dame wide receiver, Chase Claypool succeed as he did this weekend, but remember it is easier for wide receivers to see playing time. Just look at Darnell Mooney as an example. Remember, many fans wanted Claypool to become a tight end for the Chicago Bears, clearly, that was not the answer. Fans need to calm down and let Kmet learn the offense and the speed of the NFL. Like nearly every other rookie tight end, he just needs time.