According to The Athletic’s Pete Sampson, Notre Dame junior tight end Cole Kmet received a second-round grade from the NFL Advisory Committee and, he is still undecided about whether or not he will return for a senior season or head declare for the NFL Draft.
Asked Cole Kmet about his NFL Draft feedback from the advisory committee. Said he received a second round grade and he’ll make a final decision on his senior football season after the bowl game.
— Pete Sampson (@PeteSampson_) December 26, 2019
Last month Kmet was asked about his future during a weekly press conference, and he stated that he intended on playing baseball in the spring and completing his senior season next fall. At the time, most felt that Kmet was giving more of a canned answer similar to what Will Fuller did in 2015 when he said he planned on returning for a senior season when asked mid-season.
The 2nd-round grade is a little interesting because many draft prognosticators have Kmet ranked as the best tight end in the 2020 NFL Draft. If NFL scouting departments agree with that assessment, it will make sense for Kmet to come out this year. If he is indeed a 2nd-round pick if he comes out this year, then a return to Notre Dame in 2020 could make a lot of sense – and dollars.
The difference between being a 1st-round pick and 2nd-round pick is substantial financially, although being a 2nd-round pick does allow for players to reach free agency faster. First-round pick contracts come with a team option for a 5th-year while second-round contracts are four years in length.
For Notre Dame, a return of Kmet in 2020 would be a big boost for an offense that has the potential to be even better than the record-setting offense the Irish had in 2019. Even without Kmet, Notre Dame will have plenty of talent at tight end on the roster next fall with Brock Wright, Tommy Tremble, Georga Takacs, and then incoming freshmen Kevin Bauman and Michael Mayer.