Chicago Bears: Cole Kmet learning from more of the best this offseason

Chicago Bears (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bears used their first pick in the 2020 draft to select a new tight end. Without a first-round pick, Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy took Cole Kmet at 43rd overall. With Kmet and free agent Jimmy Graham, the Chicago Bears turned the tight end position around quite a bit from 2018 and 2019.

Between the two, they finished with 699 yards and 10 touchdowns. To be fair, Graham gained 456 of those yards and scored eight of the 10 touchdowns. That said, we saw a shift late in the season as Kmet started to see more time on the field. The shift took place around Week 10 when Kmet saw 35 offensive snaps and Graham only saw 29. After the bye week in Week 11, Kmet’s snap count jumped even more as he averaged just over 59 snaps per game. Jimmy Graham on the other hand only saw an average of 30 snaps per game.

Chicago Bears tight end Cole Kmet is looking to learn from more great tight ends

As Cole Kmet enters year two of his career, he is hoping to take the next big step forward. He has been learning from one of the best tight ends to ever play the game of football in Jimmy Graham. Although Graham has not been as good as he was when younger, he is likely to push his way into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Kmet would be lucky, and let’s face it so would the Chicago Bears if he made five Pro Bowl appearances before his career came to an end as Jimmy Graham has done.

Now, Kmet is looking to learn from other great tight ends throughout the league as he attends the first-ever Tight End University. The tight end university is being hosted by current tight ends Travis Kelce and George Kittle, plus former tight end and Chicago Bear, Greg Olsen.

There are plenty of other top names in attendance too. Zach Ertz, Darren Waller, Delanie Walker and others are all in attendance. Even 2021 first-round rookie Kyle Pitts made his way to the tight end retreat. The point of the retreat was to bring multiple tight ends together to hang out, train and pick each other’s brains, but Greg Olsen wants the tight end position to get the respect he believes it deserves. “Show me the money!”

This is not going to be the only tight end retreat either. It sounds like the event was very successful and George Kittle is looking forward to year two.

The expectations for Cole Kmet are beginning to grow even more than what they were his rookie season. 2021 should see a slight increase in performance as he will still be sharing some of the workload with Jimmy Graham. He should really come into his own in 2022 though if he is truly going to become one of the better tight ends in the NFL. Working with proven tight ends like Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz, George Kittle and Greg Olsen should definitely help in that matter.

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Bears fans should be excited about the potential of Cole Kmet. He has the ability to thrive in this offense with Justin Fields throwing him the football. The tide is turning with young potential as this offense is shaping up with the likes of Allen Robinson, Darnell Mooney, Justin Fields, some of the offensive linemen including rookie Teven Jenkins, and Cole Kmet. Potential is not enough though, we need to see potential turn into results. Let’s hope that happens.