NFL Draft 2022 Scouting Report: TE Charlie Kolar, Iowa State

*Our TE grades can and will change as more information comes in from Pro Day workouts, leaked Wonderlic test results, etc. We will update ratings as new info becomes available.

**Our TE formulas had some slight changes in the offseason—an adjustment to better identify and value TE prospects that are smaller physically and are primed for the era ahead...the era of Jordan Reed and Delanie Walker-type TEs. Our historical grades will have changed some on various prospects as well, to show their grades by comparison. 


I was a big fan of Charlie Kolar in my 2021 summer preview scouting – I thought he had the best movement skills of any of the young TEs that I previewed last year. He had size, especially height, and could move…and with good hands. What’s not to love?

Going into 2022, I had a high opinion/nice general vibe of Kolar as an NFL prospect…but that goodwill has been sliding going into this full scouting study. In 2022, Kolar went to the Senior Bowl and didn’t really stand out…didn’t hurt himself but didn’t launch himself either. He then went to the NFL Combine and put-up good numbers, but again did not splash or do anything ‘wow’ worthy.

I entered this deeper study with some doubts on just ‘how good’ a prospect Kolar was. I leave the study thinking he’s definitely NFL worthy and has upside, but he’s not a clear-cut/obvious top guy at TE among the 2022 class. He might be the best of the bunch in the end, but he has work to do.

I’ve watched countless hours of 2021 Iowa State tape by now. Scouting Kolar, Breece Hall, and Brock Purdy (among others) and scouting defenders playing against them. After all this tape time, going through it again from Kolar’s perspective -- I saw something watching/noting through Kolar’s career that hadn’t really gripped me until this recent watch through…and this ‘something’ detracts a bit from my prior Kolar love.

That something is: We cannot discount Kolar’s surroundings at Iowa State, and the role they played in helping him with output and better-looking tape. Many times prospects are hurt by their surroundings – a bad QB, bad O-Line, bad offensive scheme for the player’s talents. In Kolar’s case, he had the opposite – his surroundings boosted him…made him look, maybe, better than he really is.

Defenses SO focused on Breece Hall that it allowed Kolar to take advantage by slipping off a block and running down a seam while the linebackers were cheating up/focusing in on what Hall was doing…the preoccupation with Hall really helped Kolar run around unabated a lot in this passing game. Additionally, ISU has a hot shot WR, who looks like a potential top guy for the 2023 Draft in #8 WR Xavier Hutchinson…his presence also occupied the already distracted mind of the defense.

When I really watched back through, and saw the lackluster defensive attention paid to him, I noted that Kolar wasn’t doing anything super special…he was just a bigger (6’6”+), pretty quick tight end running free, wide open from time-to-time in this offense and the QB took advantage. Most tight ends aren’t this lucky. Washington’s Cade Otton would have loved these surroundings…ditto Trey McBride, etc. Ditto about every tight end in this draft.

It’s simple, but true – Kolar looks pleasing on tape and has upper end output metrics (for a TE) due in some part to his extra-favorable surroundings. It’s not that Kolar is secretly bad…it’s just that he’s ‘normal’ good…he needs to be scouted considering the ‘head fake’/inflated tape.

When you set aside the surroundings ‘bump’/advantage, then I see Kolar as a ‘good’ TE prospect…not ‘best in class’ (as I thought he might be at one time). He has the makings of a top TE prospect, but I don’t think it’s ready-made yet…and I know the NFL is not taking him all that seriously.

In reality, what’s not to like on his foundation? Kolar is 6’6.5”/248 and ran a 4.62 40-time and a 7.00 three-cone at his Pro Day…he’s big and he can move well above-average for TE. Those are really nice draft attributes. He has good hands…he has big hands (10.0”) and a big wingspan (82.1”). He won the William V. Campbell Award in 2021…otherwise known as ‘the academic Heisman’, so we know he’s smart. He has ‘B’ grade or better on most all the scouting punch list items across the board – so, why not Kolar as a top guy among TE prospects in 2022?

The NFL questions his passion for the sport. At first, I bristled at that notion -- but with more research, I could see that concern. I’m not sure it’s valid but it is a minor red flag. Kolar comes off as smart, nerdy, sheepish in interviews and team interactions. Most of the NFL loves the tough guy plodder/brawler tight end…some like the uber-athletic ones…Kolar is kinda in-between all that. He has the size to be a brawler, but his tape says he isn’t (at heart)…he shows to be more of a finesse TE. He has size and athleticism but does not play particularly aggressively…and his 13 reps bench press at his Pro Day makes you worry he’s not taking his body as seriously as he should. Had Kolar lived in the gym and threw down 20+ bench reps pre-Draft, at his size, I think he could have gotten some serious top TE attention…but his bottom-tier Pro Day bench only fueled those who question whether he’s committed more to outside things, academic things with not as much drive for pro football.

On tape, I see Kolar running a lot of posts and corner routes…using his speed and finesse, to work down field. It looks pleasing on highlight reel tape…but the more I saw it the more I realized he was working a finesse game in a perfect environment that allowed him to not get defensive focus on him.

The upside here is, Kolar focuses in and adds a bunch of muscle and develops into a Pro Bowl tight end in the pros…which is very possible. Most TEs in this draft don’t have the upside and build Kolar does. He has one of the best TE frames/natural gifts in this class…better than  McBride, Dulcich, and Likely (among others).

The downside here is, Kolar never takes to the NFL. He prefers the academic world to the NFL world, and he never fully develops his talents/physique/game and leaves the sport early for different pursuits. Kolar doesn’t need this game…doesn’t need to take hits to his high-end brain.

It’s dangerous to try and ‘guess’ the future thinking of a player, but with the money at stake…you have to consider everything. It’s definitely debatable, but know the NFL is really leaning on the side of being concerned about him…maybe wrongfully so, but it’s their reality. 



Charlie Kolar, Through the Lens of Our TE Scouting Algorithm:

 -- A very good (for a TE) 2021…13 games, 83-897-5 season, but if you consider he was almost like a really tall, free roaming wide receiver-ish TE, you can understand why the good numbers and maybe discount them a bit.

 -- Kolar is nearly 6’7” and played with a good college QB and had great surroundings, and only caught 9 TD passes in 25 games. It seems ‘lacking’ for his body advantage, and situational advantage.

 -- Two carries for 18 yards in 2021 and completed a pass for a 49-yard TD.

 -- Comes from an athletic family…his brothers are college football players and has a sister as a college volleyball athlete.

 -- Seven of his final 8 college games without a TD in the game. Very odd…very not-dominant. He should have scored TDs by mistake in that offense.


2022 Pro Day Measurables:

6’6.5”/248, 10.0” hands, 34.5” arms

4.62 40-time, 2.72 20-yard, 1.66 10-yard

4.30 shuttle, 7.00 three-cone

13 bench reps, 35.5” vertical, 10.0” broad 



The Historical TE Prospects to Whom Charlie Kolar Most Compares Within Our System:

Every TE on this list did not live up to their pre-Draft hype/hopes, except Greg Olsen…some having solid NFL careers, but never fulfilling their size/athletic gift combo. There is fear Kolar disappoints the same.


TE Grade









Spd-Agil Metric

Strgth Blxing Metric

Hands Metric






Iowa State












Notre Dame












Penn St.




































Miami, Fla








*A score of 7.0+ is where we start to take a TE prospect more seriously. A score of 8.50+ is where we see a stronger correlation of TEs going on to become NFL good/great/elite. A score of 10.00+ is more rarefied air in our system and indicates a greater probability of becoming an elite NFL TE.

All of the TE ratings are based on a 0–10 scale, but a player can score negative, or above a 10.0 in certain instances.

**The ‘TE-Reed’ score is in honor of Jordan Reed’s 2015 season…looking at TEs in a different manner—the smaller, speedy receiving threats.

“Speed-Agility Metric” = A combination of unique metrics surrounding speed, agility, physical size, mixed with some on-field performance metrics. High scorers here project to have a better YAC and show characteristics to be used as deep threats/create separation.

“Power-Strength Metric” = A combination of unique metrics surrounding physical size profiling, bench press strength, etc.  High scorers here project to be more physical, better blockers, and less injury-prone.

“Hands Metric” = A combination of unique metrics surrounding on-field performance in college, considering the strength of opponents played. Furthermore, this data considers some physical profiling for hand size, etc. High scorers here have a better track record of college statistical performance, and project the combination of data for receiving success at the next level.



2022 NFL Draft Outlook:

Mostly, Kolar is projected in the #125-175 overall range for the draft. Some people like his athleticism, but they are (my opinion) falling into the same trap I did last year – he looks good, definitely has the athletic ability…but not sure he has the aggression or desire to put it all together to fulfill his total promise. I thought, at one time, he’d be a top 100 prospect for sure…but now I believe the day three draft projections are correct…and he’ll go to the Patriots or some ex-Patriot GM/HC somewhere in the league. He’s a Belichick kinda guy, and he could be a bargain.

If I were an NFL GM, I’d have interest in Kolar as he fell…at some point he’s like a 180 degrees opposite version of a troubled person/bad background player but one who is a great athlete – the price eventually warrants taking a shot that you can turn the key on them; with the cheap risk that it doesn’t work. I’d have to think about Kolar in the 4th-round, after taking a private meeting with him and trying to flush out whether there’s an aggression issue or not. These guys are still just kids, so at some point you roll the dice that their pliable mind can be changed/affected/boosted.


NFL Outlook:   

If I had to bet, I’d say Kolar goes on to underperform/is quiet but promising time-to-time, and frustrating, in the NFL. However, it is very possible he works his butt off to become a Pro Bowl level, top five in the NFL TE…that’s a real possibility, and that warrants consideration/hope from an NFL team.