Fantasy Football 2020 NFL Draft Profile: Can Cole Kmet be a reliable producer at the next level?


A former top prospect coming out of high school, Cole Kmet is a big tight end with some burst, but he had just 17 career catches before his final season. Thought of as a well-rounded tight end, Kmet can likely find playing time at the next level, but there are questions about his receiving upside at a position frequently dominated in Fantasy by one-note pass-catchers. 

Numbers to Know

Date of Birth: March 10, 1999

Height: 6 feet 6 inches

Weight: 262 pounds

Hand: 10.5 inches

Arm: 33 inches

40 time: 4.7 seconds

Vertical: 37 inches

Prospect Stats

2019: 10 games, 43 receptions, 515 receiving yards (22% share), 6 TD

Kmet broke his collarbone in August of his true junior season, missing the start of the season. But he returned to post a 22% receiving yardage share in 10 games, showing off some pass-catching potential for the first time in his college career. 

Career: 23 games, 60 receptions, 691 receiving yards (14% share), 6 TD

Kmet’s a young prospect, and while he wasn’t productive in his first two seasons, he still has time and room to grow. It’s also been suggested Notre Dame didn’t use Kmet down the field often, and he may have untapped potential as a threat down the seam. 

Known Injury History

  • Broken collarbone, August 2019

Strengths

At 6-6, 262 and with a solid 4.7 40-yard dash time, Kmet is a big tight end with enough speed to stick at the next level. He was a top prospect and two-sport athlete at Notre Dame who also played baseball, and by most accounts is a capable blocker and strong all-around option at the position who should get the requisite draft capital and opportunity to get on the field for an NFL team. 

Concerns

Kmet’s inability to make an impact as a receiver until his final season may have been more of a coach’s decision, but it’s not something to ignore. With just 60 career receptions at the college level, there’s a reasonable chance he’s never more than a rotational No. 2 tight end with little Fantasy appeal. 

Ryan Wilson’s Take

No. 1 TE

At one point during the season, it looked like Kmet would return to Notre Dame for 2020, but he announced in January his intentions to head to the NFL and with that announcement he very well could become the first tight end selected. The question becomes how high can he go? He’s a level below Hockenson and Fant, and if we’re comparing him to either, he’s more like Hockenson. Kmet is an inline tight end who excels at blocking but he has the athleticism of a wide receiver and he’s been known to also line up in the slot or at H-back.

Kmet is a crisp route runner and is tough to bring down once he makes the catch. He didn’t run many deep routes at Notre Dame but he is more than capable of making plays downfield.

Fantasy Comparison

If you want an upside comp, you’re thinking about a guy like Austin Hooper, who was a similar athlete outside of much better tested agility than Kmet. Hooper caught 74 balls in two years at Stanford before posting multiple 70-catch seasons at the NFL level thus far in his career. More realistically, though, Kmet could find himself like any number of part-time No. 2 tight ends around the league who catch 20-30 balls a season and make no Fantasy impact. 

Favorite Fantasy Fits

For Kmet to have a big impact, you’re hoping he’s the clear No. 1 playing a big snap share. There’s room for that in places like Washington, New England or Cincinnati. With Kmet being a younger prospect, though, it could take a couple of years to materialize, much like it did with Hooper. Sliding in behind a veteran makes sense, perhaps as the heir apparent to the recently-signed Jimmy Graham in Chicago. 

Fantasy Bottom Line

Kmet doesn’t have an extensive production record at the college level, but is a young prospect with room to grow. Scouts seem to like him, and if he’s taken as the first or second tight end in the draft, you hope he develops into an every-down option. But the reality is this is considered a weak tight end class, and Kmet isn’t considered an elite prospect. Even if he is the top selection, he may never find himself in more than a rotational role. 

Which players are poised for breakouts, which sleepers do you need to jump on, and which busts should you avoid at all costs in your Fantasy football league? Visit SportsLine now to get early rankings, plus see which WR is going to come out of nowhere to crack the top 10, all from the model that out-performed experts big time last season.





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