Cole Kmet: Bears Could Have a ‘Pretty Explosive Offense’ in 2024

After improving by four wins in 2023 over 2022, the Bears have done a pretty good job of firing up their fanbase. The Justin Fields debate started as soon as Chicago was awarded the No. 1 pick in the draft and GM Ryan Poles did a marginal job of filling holes in free agency. Poles’ biggest move of the offseason was acquiring wide receiver Keenan Allen from the Chargers. And, after trading Fields to the Steelers, the Bears are set to open their season with presumptive top pick Caleb Williams leading the offense.

Poles also added RB D’Andre Swift and TE Gerald Everett in free agency and traded for G/C Ryan Bates. Bears fans are starting to talk about the playoffs, and so are some of Chicago’s top players, including Cole Kmet and D.J. Moore. Kmet believes the Bears could have a “pretty explosive offense” in 2024.

“I still think we’ll be able to establish ourselves in the run game,” Kmet told Larry Mayer of  “So when you’ve got that going with all the different pass options, it makes it very difficult for a defense. If they’re going to play cover-2, I think we’ll be able to run the ball really well just like we’ve done in the past. And if they decide to go single safety, they can’t cover everybody. So there will be a lot of great options there, and I’m really excited about that.”

Allen is by far the biggest addition to Chicago’s offense. Poles traded his fourth-round pick to the Chargers in exchange for Allen, a six-time Pro Bowler who has caught 904 passes for 10,530 yards and 59 touchdowns in 11 seasons. He led the league in 2023 with a career-high and franchise-record 108 receptions for 1,243 yards and seven TDs despite missing the final four games with a heel injury. The Bears now have two 1,200-yard receivers in Moore and Allen.

“I got to meet Keenan a couple of years back briefly at [Chargers’ quarterback] Justin Herbert‘s golf event in Oregon and he’s a super good dude,” Kmet said. “He’s been doing it at a very high level for a long time. The way he runs his routes, he’s so crafty and he does it at an elite level.”

“It’s a lose-lose for the defense,” Moore added. “One dude has done it longer and one is right behind him, still learning the game but understands it.”

The Bears also have a formidable duo at tight end in Kmet and Everett. The latter caught 51 passes last season for 411 yards and three scores. He will reunite with three former OC Shane Waldron. Everett’s also been coached by passing game coordinator Thomas Brown and receivers coach Chris Beatty.

Kmet was Chicago’s second-best pass-catcher in 2024 after signing his contract extension before the season. The big tight end landed 73 of 90 targets working with Fields and Tyson Bagent. He set a career-high in reception yards with 716 and added six touchdowns. He’s also looking ahead to a leap forward with the addition of Everett.

“[Everett] is a good pass-catching tight end, very athletic, good at yards per catch. We’re looking forward to getting to work with him and play with him. That should be a good 1-2 punch at tight end.

“He’s a relentless player in that regard. He’s also tough to bring down, and that brings a lot of juice to an offense when guys do that. That’s something that I try to predicate my game on as well as being tough to bring down and being physical with the ball in my hands, and he does that well. He’s also a very explosive athlete.”

The Bears aren’t done adding weapons to their offense. Williams is expected to be selected first overall by the Bears on April 25, and Poles also holds the No. 9 pick. He could trade up for an elite receiver like Marvin Harrison Jr., though that seems unlikely. One of Malik Nabers or Rome Odunze could fall to No. 9, especially if the Falcons and Vikings are forced to swap picks by the NFL. Poles has the option of trading back, too. Most analysts predict Chicago will land one of the top three receivers, however.

Rick Leen previewed the group in a recent column for Bears Insider.

  1. Harrison Jr. – “[He] uses all the tools you would expect from an NFL wide receiver. And as a second-generation star, he is already doing it at a high level. He’s most dangerous because of his route-running ability. Harrison utilizes jab steps and can stop on a dime, but the way he fluctuates his speed might be the most impressive.”
  2. Nabers – “Nabers is smaller, but he’s very well-rounded. He’s one of the best route runners and has fluid movement, maintaining speed through his cuts. Nabers is a dangerous vertical threat running away from the defender, tracking the ball, and getting under it for the catch. He can also highpoint the ball and snag it.”
  3. Odunze – “His body control and flexibility allow him to stay fast and contort in the air with a large catch radius. Odunze is stronger than he looks, too, and he will consistently find extra yards falling forward. He won’t [last] long on April 25th.”

Harrison and Williams are considered generational talents by many evaluators, and Chicago will have one of the NFL’s top offenses if Poles trades up to acquire the Ohio State star. Harrison is a vicious blocker, too, something that will endear him to head coach Matt Eberflus. Some reports suggest that it will take a 2025 second-round pick to swap slots with the Cardinals or Chargers. That may be a little light with quarterbacks expected to go 1-2-3. There will be a lot of competition to acquire the rights to draft Harrison if so.

Regardless, Poles is expected to draft a wide receiver at some point in two weeks. Chicago owns four picks and has four positions of need: Quarterback, receiver, offensive line, and defensive line. I would expect the GM to extend Allen after the draft, too. All that is missing from Chicago’s offense is its driver, and that position will be filled once Poles officially selects Williams.

Are the Bears a playoff team with their new weapons and with Williams replacing Fields? They’re close. I’m concerned about depth, especially on the offense and defensive lines. Chicago also plays in one of the league’s tougher divisions. The Packers made the playoffs last season, and the Lions lost to the 49ers in the NFC Championship game. But the Bears are getting closer to competing with both teams. Time will tell.

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