One of the weirdest developments to start this season is how the Chicago Bears have handled their draft class. Jaylon Johnson has been a starter on defense from Day 1. Darnell Mooney rapidly earned more playing time at wide receiver. Yet their top pick, tight end Cole Kmet, can’t seem to get more action outside of 20 or so snaps each week. Olin Kreutz believes that trend needs to stop.

It isn’t a surprise that Jimmy Graham is the Bears’ primary pass target at tight end. His four touchdowns in six games prove that. The surprise is that Demetrius Harris, a castoff they picked up from Cleveland in the offseason, is not only playing more than Kmet but has been targeted in the passing game more than double (11 to 5).

Matt Nagy has prior ties to Harris from their days together in Kansas City. Yet even there the veteran never proved to be a viable target in the passing game. Based on the film, Kreutz thinks Kmet must get more involved. Not necessarily because Harris has disappointed, but because the rookie is playing well.

Kmet took a big step forward in Carolina

He was targeted twice during the game, catching both passes for 20 yards including the Bears’ first touchdown. A strong grab in heavy traffic. Despite less than 50% of the targets as Harris, the rookie has more yards (32 to 30) and a score to go with it. His blocking has also steadily improved. Something his coaches have praised him for going back a number of weeks.

Olin Kreutz understands the Bears offense needs help

It’s not like this group has the luxury of taking their time with guys. They rank 28th in the NFL. That is among the worst in professional football. Harris has been part of that reality through the first six games. He isn’t getting the job done. Nagy may trust him more because of their Kansas City connection but it doesn’t change the facts.

Kmet is the better player. Smart head coaches stick to a simple credo. The best players must play. Yes, he’s a rookie and will probably make rookie mistakes. Still, Kmet is a big enough threat to where the positives will outweigh the negatives. There’s a reason many viewed him as the best tight end in the class. His talent is very good and his work ethic is outstanding.

Nobody is buying Harris as a threat and for good reason.

He isn’t one. His primary value has always been blocking. That is where he needs to focus his efforts. The Bears drafted Kmet to be a classic Y-tight end. A combo guy who could block and then get out and make some nice catches each week. Every time they’ve given him an opportunity, he’s delivered.

Olin Kreutz knows football. When he says the Bears should do something, that means they should probably take his advice. Kmet isn’t doing them any good on the sidelines. It’s time to see if the Lake Barrington-native is ready to show his hometown team what he can really do.