2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Charlie Kolarby Mason Thompson April 19, 2022 0 comments
While the 2022 tight end class doesn’t have a player of the caliber of Kyle Pitts like the 2021 class, the class is deep, and there are plenty of prospects who will immediately fill a role at the next level. Charlie Kolar is a player that has flown under the radar until recently, with Brett Kollmann naming the Iowa State tight end as the next Travis Kelce. Those are lofty expectations to live up to.
The three-star recruit from Norman, Oklahoma, committed to Iowa State and finished his collegiate career with almost 170 catches for over 2,000 yards and 23 touchdowns. In 2021 alone, Kolar set career-highs in catches and receiving yards while falling one touchdown short of tying his career-high from 2019 and 2020. In a deep class, Kolar offers a skill set that many others in the class don’t have in terms of a receiving threat.
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Name: Charlie Kolar
Jersey: No. 88
Position: Tight End
School: Iowa State
Class: Redshirt Senior
Weight: 250 lbs
Games Watched: Baylor (2021), Texas (2021), Oklahoma State (2021)
Major Injury History: None
Unfortunately, the report gets off to a rough start as Kolar is not the best blocker in the class. He typically aligns from the slot or as the number one receiver by himself on one side of the formation. Along with that, he is used as an in-line blocker or as a wing. He doesn’t do a good job of keeping himself low to give himself good enough leverage to compete against opposing defenders to seal them off from the ball carrier. Kolar will whiff occasionally, resulting in a loss of yardage for the Cyclone offense. If possible, Kolar would be best utilized as a slot or outside receiver instead of an in-line tight end.
Route Running (11.5/15)
Because of where he aligns, Kolar doesn’t have the widest range in terms of the route concepts he runs. Iowa State used him on seams, corners, outs, and curl routes that allowed him to get into space with his dynamic athleticism. Kolar didn’t necessarily have the speed he had during his combine or pro day and struggled to separate against man coverage. He does have some suddenness to him, but he needs to find more of it to be more consistent in this area of his game.
Kolar was rarely faced with press coverage, so his release off the line of scrimmage was regularly clean. When he had to work through contact to get to the second level, he did a decent job creating separation until he got to the top of his route. In the NFL, Kolar may be tasked with going against press coverage more often as a boundary receiver to create mismatches.
Despite having a sporadic quarterback in Brock Purdy as his quarterback, Kolar could still track the ball with ease if it was catchable. Unfortunately, there were multiple occasions where the ball wasn’t close to Kolar and would sail out of bounds or above the tight end’s head. Thankfully, when the ball was within his range, Kolar would come up with the ball in his hands time and time again, even if he looked back to the ball a bit later than expected.
Run After Catch (7.5/10)
Kolar is more effective when he finds a hole in the zone and can manipulate it for an extra ten or so yards. Outside of those situations, he doesn’t typically offer much from a run after catch standpoint and is brought down after only a few more yards after he catches the ball.
Hands/Ball Security (9.5/10)
When the ball is in the general vicinity of Kolar, he came down with the football. There were a few cases where he could jump and high point the ball, but that wasn’t seen as much as you would have guessed from his RAS score and his high jump result. Kolar was the security blanket for Purdy this year, and it was easy to see why.
Contested Catch (9/10)
It was stated earlier that Kolar typically catches everything thrown in his direction. That also includes contested-catch situations in the middle of the field or the endzone. There were two cases of drops due to a perfect play by a defender and a bad throw by Purdy, unfortunately. Other than that, Kolar does a fantastic job of plucking the ball out of the air and coming down with the catch for big catches when needed.
Despite aligning from numerous spots at Iowa State, Kolar will likely primarily align as a slot or boundary receiver at the next level. Unfortunately, his blocking skills aren’t great, which will limit him snap-count-wise early in his career. While there is a lot to work within the blocking regard, he caused Breece Hall to be tackled for a loss or only a short gain when the dynamic running back could’ve ripped off a long run.
This is a bit of a weird grade. Kolar is a decent athlete on tape, but according to his pro day numbers, he is an elite athlete that scored a 9.76 on the RAS scale. Kolar’s three-cone time is interesting. He looks a bit clunky on tape, and he did very well in the three-cone. So, we’ll split the two here with a score of 4.5.
Overall, Kolar is a solid player. He is a bit underrated by the general media. Kollmann likened him to Kelce because of the way that Iowa State used him offensively, and their athletic scores are similar. While he is higher on Kolar than most, this scouting report doesn’t dictate that. Kolar will likely go on day three of the draft in the same range as Cole Turner, Daniel Bellinger, and others. Thankfully, the Iowa State tight end has a favorable receiving projection at the next level, but his lack of blocking skills could hinder him and keep him off the field early in his career.
Rookie Projection: Backup Tight End
Third Year Projection: Starting Tight End
Final Grade (75.25/100): Fourth Round
Player Comp: Mike Gesicki-lite