Bears add talent at TE, CB in night two of the NFL Draft


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The Bears took Notre Dame tight end Cole Kmet 43rd overall in the NFL Draft on Friday night.

Joey Leonardo, Sports Editor

The Chicago Bears’ first picks in the 2020 NFL Draft came in the second-round with selections at 43 and 50. On April 24, they used these picks to add talented tight end Cole Kmet and cornerback Jaylon Johnson to the roster. 

In September 2018, the Bears shocked the world when they traded a package of draft picks to the Oakland, now Las Vegas, Raiders for superstar defensive end Khalil Mack. After completing the trade, the Bears signed Mack to the richest contract in NFL history for a defensive player at the time: a six-year deal worth $141 million. While Mack has certainly become a key player on this Bears roster, the trade resulted in the Bears not having any first-round picks in either the 2019 or the 2020 NFL Draft.

With the 43rd overall pick, the Bears selected Cole Kmet, a 6’5” 250-pound tight end out of the University of Notre Dame. The 21-year-old is from Arlington Heights, IL, and he attended Saint Viator High School before committing to Notre Dame in 2017. After becoming the starting tight end his junior year, Kmet was able to reel in 43 catches for a total of 515 yards and six touchdowns. With many experts considering Kmet a first-round level talent, this pick should provide Bears fans with optimism as they look to fix their problem at this offensive position. 

I mean we would go to games and stuff and [playing for the Bears] was something that I was aware of, that we would talk about,” Kmet said. “…it’s just pretty amazing to know that now I’m going to be suiting up for my hometown team.”

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This spring, the Bears signed veteran tight end Jimmy Graham to a two-year, $16 million deal.

On March 16, the Bears paid veteran tight end, Jimmy Graham, $16 million in a two-year contract. Graham, who will turn 34 during this NFL season, spent his past two seasons with the Green Bay Packers, posting a minimally impressive 93 catches for 1,083 yards and five touchdowns. Kmet will become the tenth tight end on the Bears’ roster now full of guys who have yet to prove themselves as “the guy”.

With their final pick of the second night of the draft, the Bears took Jaylon Johnson, a six-foot-tall cornerback out of the University of Utah. After the Bears parted ways with starting cornerback Prince Amukamara this offseason, Johnson may instantly find playing time opposite Kyle Fuller in what has become an elite defensive backfield for the Bears. Johnson totaled 102 tackles and had seven interceptions during his three-year tenure with the Utes.

Photo courtesy of Pro Football Talk on Twitter.
CB Jaylon Johnson looks to make an instant impact in the Bears defensive backfield.

“Definitely as a competitor and the expectations I have for myself, of course, I expected to go a lot higher [in the draft],” Johnson said. “I’m definitely forever grateful for the Bears to be the first team to believe in me and give me an opportunity to provide for my family.”

Photo courtesy of Chicago Sun Times
General manager Ryan Pace looks to continue building this Bears team into a contender.

The Bears have five picks remaining all in rounds 5-7, and Bears general manager Ryan should be able to give this team more depth across the board, though maybe not any starters.