5 Tight Ends in 2021 NFL Draft Matt Nagy could covet
3. Tony Poljan, Virginia
Tony Poljan is a former quarterback who started at Central Michigan before changing positions to tight end. He transferred for the 2020 season and started eight games at Virginia. Poljan is a bit different than the first two tight ends, and he profiles more as an in-line player.
Poljan is not very explosive and that shows up tape. He is not lighting the world on fire with speed. However, he is big and strong. He still has his struggles as a blocker, particularly in the run game. Issues can come on the move when he has to pick up his reads. However, staying in-line and shoving his man can result in stalemates that buy his quarterback time, and help the offensive line.
While the Bears do utilize a tight end who can run out of the backfield, the most snaps Demetrius Harris played were in-line. His ability to play on the line of scrimmage allowed the Bears the option of where to put Cole Kmet. It also made flexing Jimmy Graham into the slot easier. With Kmet and Harris inline, Graham in the slot did not hurt run blocking.
Both Horsted and Holtz can pick up blocks from motion but neither are as great in-line, and without Harris on the roster, we could see Kmet blocking a lot more, and receiving a lot less. Adding someone like Poljan can at least get Kmet out of being the only tight end on the roster who can be trusted to block.
PFF gives Poljan a fifth-round grade while the Athletic sees him more in round six. This is exactly where the Chicago Bears target a tight end if they do.