NFL Draft 2020: Notre Dame’s Cole Kmet explains why he turned down chance to play for White Sox

NFL Draft 2020: Notre Dame’s Cole Kmet explains why he turned down chance to play for White Sox

Former Notre Dame tight end Cole Kmet knows there’s a chance he could be a Chicago Bear by the end of the week. And it’s not his first opportunity to get drafted by a professional sports team in this city.

In 2017, the White Sox were interested in drafting the star pitcher from St. Viator High School. The Lake Barrington native even took batting practice at Guaranteed Rate Field. According to NFL Draft analyst Dane Brugler of The Athletic, “the White Sox made him a lucrative six-figure offer to sign and be a fifth-round draft pick in the 2017 MLB Draft.”

“I actually had a little workout with the White Sox at (Guaranteed Rate Field), so that was a lot of fun,” Kmet said on The Hoge & Jahns Podcast Tuesday. “But at the end of the day, it was a dream of mine to play college football at Notre Dame so that was something I couldn't pass up on.”

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft 2020: Bears and Packers both go after QBs with early picks

The White Sox ended up drafting right handed pitcher Tyler Johnson in the fifth round that year. Kmet went on to play both baseball and football at Notre Dame.

“Being able to play both sports was something I wasn't ready to give up on either,” Kmet said about his decision to turn down the White Sox’s interest. “I wanted to play football and baseball and Notre Dame offered that. So that was something that I really couldn't turn down. Obviously, I'm very happy with the decision.”

Last year, Kmet decided to focus solely on football and after catching 43 passes for 515 yards and six touchdowns last fall, he turned pro. And there’s still a possibility he ends up getting drafted by a Chicago team. According to Kmet, he has had “quite a bit of contact with the Bears,” who hold the No. 43 and No. 50 overall picks in Friday’s second round.

And when asked jokingly if he only turned down the White Sox because he’s a Cubs fan, Kmet laughed and said: “Not only. No.”

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Madden 21 rating leaks: Chicago Bears Top-10 overall rated players

Madden 21 rating leaks: Chicago Bears Top-10 overall rated players

As Madden 21 ratings continue to leak out, one site claims to have gotten a hold of the Top-10 players for each team. According to Madden School, a website that says they’ve served the Madden community for 13 years, the Bears only have one player rated over 90-- Khalil Mack at 97. That’s one point lower than where Mack finished the season on Madden 20.

Here’s the full list for the Bears:

Khalil Mack: 97 overall

Eddie Jackson: 89 overall

Allen Robinson: 89 overall

Akiem Hicks: 88 overall

Kyle Fuller: 85 overall

Eddie Goldman: 84 overall

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Roquan Smith: 83 overall

Robert Quinn: 82 overall

Charles Leno Jr.: 81 overall

Cody Whitehair: 81 overall

It’s important to note that none of these numbers came with picture or video evidence from early copies of the game.

Unsurprisingly, only one offensive skill player cracked the Top-10 for the Bears, Allen Robinson. Equally unsurprising is the fact that seven of the Top-10 are on defense.

EA Sports began releasing the official Madden 21 ratings on Monday, and will continue to do so through Friday.

RELATED: Madden 21 rating leaks: Another source says Khalil Mack may have lost elite 99-overall status


Here's where Maurice Jones-Drew ranks David Montgomery among NFL running backs

Here's where Maurice Jones-Drew ranks David Montgomery among NFL running backs

Former NFL running back and current NFL Network personality, Maurice Jones-Drew, published his ranking of the top-32 running backs in the NFL on Monday and, of course, the Bears didn't get much love. To be more specific, David Montgomery was downright disrespected.

To be fair, MJD's assessment (or ranking) of Montgomery wasn't entirely based on No. 32's talent. Instead, it appears the Bears' offense -- and Matt Nagy -- is why Jones-Drew isn't high on the former Iowa State star.

Montgomery checked-in at No. 27 on MJD's list.

Montgomery's success depends on whether or not Matt Nagy wants to run the ball. They abandoned the run game week after week in 2019, and it showed in the team's 8-8 record. I'm expecting Montgomery to get the bulk of the carries and Tarik Cohen to continue to be frequently used in certain packages. The second-year back can do a little bit of everything, but needs Nagy to commit to running the rock.

It's hard to tell whether or not MJD believes Montgomery has the talent to be a top-10 running back in the NFL. He describes him as a player who can do 'a little bit of everything,' but doesn't necessarily suggest he can do any one thing really well. There are a lot of running backs in the NFL who fit that description, and they're normally playing backup to starter with a stronger skill set.

Running backs who were ranked in the same range as Montgomery included James Conner (Steelers, No. 25) and Sony Michel (Patriots, No. 26). Detroit's Kerryon Johnson was 28th.

Whether you take MJD's list seriously or put any weight into it at all is your call. But keep this in mind: he said he'd rank himself similarly to Adrian Peterson (23rd) if he decided to come out of retirement in 2020. 

As for Montgomery, it's fair to question his long-term outlook considering the narrative around the running back position. It isn't all that difficult to find a quality starter, and with next offseason presenting a potentially historic class of available running backs, Montgomery is certainly on the hot seat. He ran for just 889 yards as a rookie in 2019.

Preseason rankings are fun exercises to evaluate the landscape of the league, but they're also extremely volatile. Montgomery can quickly become one of the most respected running backs in the NFL if he gets off to a hot start early in the 2020 season.