Editor’s Note: Some may take this as a means of doing less work, combining both a draft preview with a draft recap. The truth is, it should be seen as a peek behind the curtain. A draft recap is written long ahead of time, leaning heavily on repurposing the draft preview, so as to publish quickly upon the announcement of the pick. The thought is, this might be a more light-hearted approach. These days, light-hearted approaches are the way to go, though perhaps the NFL’s approach to draft logistics is taking that too seriously.
Former Notre Dame tight end Cole Kmet has continued the — ugh, check this math again, actually, pull up the old Alizé Mack draft recap — streak of now nine consecutive season-opening Irish starting tight ends to be drafted.
If a first-round pick: “Kmet becomes the second first-rounder in the run, along with Tyler Eifert in 2013 at No. 21 overall.”
If a second-round pick: “Kmet becomes the fifth second-rounder in the run.”
If a third-round pick: “Kmet becomes the first third-rounder in the run, a grouping that includes one first-round selection (Tyler Eifert in 2013 at No. 21 overall) and four second-round picks.”
Kmet’s one year of starting led to a wide array of draft projections, ones that gained first-round speculations as the Chicago Bears released their tight end and the New England Patriots stocked up on draft picks in the last few weeks. His blend of speed and size make him an ideal NFL tight end, much like Eifert, but possibly with the same injury concerns that have plagued Eifert in recent years.
A broken collarbone cost Kmet the first two games of the 2019 season, but he still finished with 43 catches for 515 yards and six touchdowns. His first game back in action saw Notre Dame target him on three of the first four plays at Georgia as he finished with nine catches for 108 yards and a touchdown against one of the country’s better collegiate defenses.
Kmet originally indicated he would return for his senior season, partly to pursue one more baseball season as a relief pitcher, but receiving a second-round evaluation from the NFL understandably altered that thought process, especially when it came just before he sprained his ankle in the Camping World Bowl against Iowa State, an injury that appeared worse on first viewing. Instead, he’ll enjoy the perks of insert Kmet’s initial salary, drawn from Spotrac.com’s database.