Coach Matt Nagy is impressed with how quickly Bears top draft pick Cole Kmet, a tight end from Notre Dame, is learning the offense.
"I have yet to trump him in a Zoom meeting on a question," Nagy said last Friday during a teleconference with reporters. "I can't trick him. He knows it all."
With the Bears conducting their offseason entirely on a virtual basis due to the coronavirus, it's imperative that rookies gain a firm grasp of the scheme so they can hit the ground running when they're permitted to return to the practice field.
"Some of the advice that was given to these young players heading into 2020 right now, is to understand your playbook in 2020 is going to be the most important thing you can do than in any other year," Nagy said. "Because you don't have a lot of time and you don't have the ability for coaches to see what you can and can't do on that field.
"This kid has that. I will guarantee you, I'll put it out there: He will know this playbook inside out. That's not going to be the issue. What he's going to have to grow with is understanding the defenses in the NFL, understanding how strong a defensive end is that he's going to have to block as a nine-technique, or a seven-I technique on a blast play to the outside. It's different, what the speed's like, when the ball comes on you, when the coverage changes. And he'll do that because he has the 'want.'"
The Bears selected Kmet with the 43rd pick in the second round of the draft. The 6-6, 262-pounder was a three-year contributor at Notre Dame who blossomed as a junior last year, establishing career highs in all receiving categories with 43 receptions for 515 yards and six touchdowns.
Nagy believes that Kmet possesses many of the same intangibles as some of the guest speakers who have addressed Bears players during the offseason program. Nagy declined to name names but described the speakers as "Hall of Famers" and "future Hall of Famers."
"The ceiling for him is so high because, No. 1, he wants it," Nagy said. "All these speakers that we've talked to and that we've listened to and that are really great at the positions they played in different sports, the one thing is that they've got that 'want.' They've got that little different thing to make them great. He has that.
"So when you see that ceiling of someone like Cole, you see the personality, you see the size, the strength, the makeup—all that—how do you not get excited about that? I am, and I'm looking forward to his future."
With the 43rd overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Bears select TE Cole Kmet