(670 The Score) When the Bears selected tight end Cole Kmet in the second round of the NFL Draft in April, they did so understanding that he would face challenges as a rookie.
Kmet didn't step into Halas Hall until late July as the NFL's customary offseason program was altered due to the coronavirus pandemic. Kmet didn't have the benefit of rookie minicamp, OTAs or veteran minicamp and first stepped onto a football field with the Bears in the middle of August -- months after rookies would in a normal year.
Nonetheless, Kmet has been up to speed in the Bears' offense and with his responsibilities, something that has caught the attention of general manager Ryan Pace.
"(Cole) Kmet might be one of the more football intelligent rookies that we've ever been around," Pace said Monday. "And you felt it right away. He's just such a well-rounded tight end."
Kmet is projected to be the Bears' starter at the Y tight end role in coach Matt Nagy's offense, with veteran Jimmy Graham plugged in at the U position.
Chicago opens its season at Detroit on Sunday.
Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.