The tight end position has become a weapon in the NFL however, it has become more of a luxury than a necessity. Last year’s draft saw 0 tight ends selected in the first round for the first time since 2016. The hybrid flex tight end has become the norm with the hall of fame success of Tony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates. Recently, the trio of Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce, and George Kittle has evolved the position even further with their immense combination of size, strength, and speed. This year’s group follows along those same concepts and depending on performance could see 2 or 3 first round tight ends.
Pat Freiermuth – 6’5” 256 – Penn State – Junior – Rating (3.57)
2019 Stats: 43 receptions / 507 receiving yards / 7 touchdowns
Strength: Athletic big man, physical runner, good hands.
Weakness: Won’t run away from any defenders.
Player Comparison: Travis Kelce Kansas City Chiefs Tight End
Overall: Another potential first round pick we will not see play football in the fall. Freiermuth has the skills of a modern NFL tight end. He understands coverages to get himself open. Will profile as a slot or flex tight end and an H-back at the next level.
Brevin Jordan – 6’3” 245 – Miami – Junior – Rating (3.50)
2019 Stats: 35 Receptions / 495 receiving yard / 2 touchdowns
Strengths: Strong lower body and a powerful stiff arm.
Weakness: Body catcher
Player Comparison: Chris Cooley former Washington Tight End
Overall: The University of Miami has a rich history of great tight ends. Bubba Franks, Jeremy Shockey, Kellen Winslow, Greg Olsen, and Jimmy Graham set the standard with their success in the pros. Brevin Jordan has a chance to continue that tradition. He is a powerful tight end who is not easy to bring down and can operate the middle of the field for any spread offense. Jordan is a willing blocker that can play in short yardage situation or as a puller from the wing position. His numbers should take a big jump in 2020.
Kyle Pitts – 6’5” 239 – Florida – Junior – Rating (3.42)
2019 Stats: 54 receptions / 649 receiving yards / 5 receiving touchdowns
Strengths: Long arms with an excellent catch radius.
Weakness: Has a thin lower body. He will need to get stronger on the next level and become a better blocker.
Player Comparison: OJ Howard Tampa Bay Bucs Tight End
Overall: Pitts is an intriguing prospect. His combination of size and leaping are very desirable to NFL GM’s. He can lineup on both the inside and the outside and be a mismatch nightmare for defenses. He should see a lot more red zone touches in 2020 with his impressive leaping ability.
Charlie Kolar – 6’6” 252– Iowa State – Junior – Rating (3.35)
2019 Stats: 51 receptions / 697 receiving yards / 7 touchdowns
Strengths: Good hands and route runner.
Weakness: Not a threat down the field
Player Comparison: Zach Miller former Chicago Bears Tight End
Overall: Kolar had a very productive 2019 season for the Cyclones. He is a more traditional tight end playing with his hand in the ground or as an H-Back. Kolar does a good job of high pointing the ball and is a threat in the red zone. Does most of his damage operating in the middle of the field and has excellent hands in traffic. At first look he could be a good fit on a power run oriented team like the Titans.
Kylen Granson – 6’3” 235 – SMU – Senior – Rating (3.35)
2019 Stats: 43 receptions / 721 receiving yards / 9 touchdowns
Strengths: Down field threat and physical runner
Weakness: inexperienced blocker
Player Comparison: A smaller George Kittle San Francisco 49er Tight End
Overall: Transferred from Rice after the 2018 season and had a highly productive season for SMU. Granson averaged 16.8 yards a catch in 2019. When the Mustangs ran into some injuries last year he got an opportunity to play a big role in the offense and he delivered scoring 9 touchdowns. Granson runs with an enthusiasm and physicality that is infectious. Another big year in the American Conference will raise his draft stock.
Tony Poljan – 6’7” 250 – Central Michigan/Virginia – Junior – Rating (3.14)
2019 Stats: 33 reception / 496 receiving yards / 4 touchdowns
Strengths: Big frame and understanding of coverage.
Weakness: inexperience at the position.
Player Comparison: Jay Riemersma former Steelers and Bills Tight End
Overall: Poljan transferred over the summer to the University of Virginia. He will get a chance to play a full season in the ACC. He spent his first two seasons at Central Michigan as a quarterback before transitioning to a full time tight end. Poljan is no stranger to adversity. Battling a severe stutter, Poljan has embraced the challenge and thrived both academically and athletically. An intriguing prospect will get much bigger exposure in 2020.