Notre Dame football: Cole Kmet starting to turn the corner for the Chicago Bears

Cole Kmet (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Cole Kmet (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

It took a bit for him to get going, but former Notre Dame football star Cole Kmet is turning the corner as a rookie in Chicago.

During the 2020 NFL Draft, Notre Dame football star Cole Kmet was the first tight end off the board, landing with the Chicago Bears in the second round at pick No. 43 overall. A tremendous asset for the Irish throughout his career, Kmet joined a Bears depth chart that had veteran Jimmy Graham atop of it, giving him a former elite player at the position to learn under.

While his career started slowly, Kmet is now starting to become a real threat in the Bears offense, and has played a key role for Chicago in each of the last two weeks. Based on his size, speed, and ball-catching ability, he is going to have a solid career at the NFL level and is starting to develop a rapport with Mitchell Trubisky.

If Kmet continues on this trajectory, Kmet will develop into one of the top pass-catching tight ends in the NFC North.

Working his way into the offense

As stated earlier, Kmet was not a big part of the Bears’ offense early on, as he was targeted three or fewer times in every game up until two weeks ago. In fact, before the Minnesota Vikings game four weeks ago, he was targeted only one or two times a game, so his rise over the last four games has been a treat to watch.

After getting targeted three times against Minnesota and then again against Green Bay the following week, Kmet has now been targeted seven times in each of the last two games. Two weeks ago, Kmet found the end zone for the second time in his NFL career against division rival Detroit, and this past week, he had four receptions for 41 yards in a win against Houston.

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In the past two weeks, Kmet has hauled in nine passes, which is a third of his total receptions for the season. His 14 targets are half of his season total of 28, and as the Bears continue to try and stay relevant in the NFC Wild Card picture, it appears Kmet is going to be a big part of the solution moving forward.