Analyzing Tight End Cole Kmet’s Season

With rumors surfacing of tight end Cole Kmet likely to sign an extension soon, let’s take a look at his production last year to see how worthy he is of an extension. Coming into the season, I wrote an article about how expectations for the young talent were fairly high paired with the rise of quarterback Justin Fields. However, the Chicago Bears started out slow on offense. Through Weeks 1-7, Kmet only topped 40 receiving yards twice, with zero touchdowns. A poor start, Kmet then picked it up with five (5!) touchdowns in the next three weeks. A crazy pace, Kmet slowly came back down yet still putting up solid weeks and catching more passes than the start.

In terms of counting stats, Kmet actually put up less receptions and receiving yards than the 2021-22 season. However, his touchdowns skyrocketed from zero (0) to seven (7). While the 2022-23 season wasn’t the massive leap Kmet and Bears fans were hoping for, this significant uptick in touchdowns is a very good sign, despite the receptions and yards. His catch percentage (receptions/targets) also jumped from 64.5% last season to 72.5% this year, a clear improvement.

As the offense found more of a running identity this year, Kmet didn’t have a route-heavy role in the offense like some other tight ends. So while it’s easy to say many tight ends caught more passes for more yards than Kmet, his value is clear for the Bears. The hometown kid is a tough runner and has solid hands so the talent is clearly there. I don’t think there is anyone that believes Kmet is the problem with the Bears’ struggles, as Kmet has been great at doing what he is asked. I would argue the Bears should get him involved a little more even.

Despite lacking speed and certain athleticism, his toughness and strength make up for it completely, along with his rapidly improving pass catching. Overall, he is a young and talented asset to this Bears offense and with an extension looming, hopefully he will be part of the franchise for years to come.
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