With the 2021 NFL Draft approaching, the Cleveland Browns will have their own tastes and board based on what they are trying to do in every phase of the game. Based on what is known about what they want to do, some prospects stand out as fits including Tony Poljan, a tight end out of Virginia.
Age: Unavailable, but he's been in college four years. Three at Central Michigan before becoming a graduate transfer to the University of Virginia
Measurables: Listed 6'7" 265 lbs
Production: 36 receptions, 411 yards (15.7 percent), 6 touchdowns in 2020.
Tony Poljan is a blocking tight end that put up elite production as a receiver. Possessing a good first step, but no top speed whatsoever, he is reasonably agile and displays good balance. He's reminiscent of Darren Fells when he was with the Browns. Never going to win a race, but just enough to do some damage when open.
Poljan is a former quarterback who really does a nice job finding holes in the defense and using his body to create space to catch the ball. In Virginia's offense, they had few threats, so they had to do things like flex Poljan out and even faded him up at times. For a team like the Browns, he's fourth or fifth option when he's on the field and works as a check down.
More importantly, Poljan is suited to play in the Browns double tight end sets almost as an extra tackle, which is largely what Fells did in his year with the Browns. Poljan has tremendous length, so he can be a real asset when it comes to reach blocking.
He has enough heft to get a push down the field as well, but needs to do a better job of engaging his hips to unlock his lower body strength as well simply displaying more consistent effort when he's locked on to an opponent. The Browns do plenty of reach blocking, but when the Browns want to block down or get a push in short yardage, Poljan needs to be able to deliver.
The Browns have Austin Hooper, David Njoku and Harrison Bryant under contract, all three of which can operate flex out or in space. Poljan would be an inline player that can come in hopefully give them a little extra push when they utilize three tight end sets. While teams focus on stopping everyone else, he can slip behind them and catch a pass in the end zone or to extend a drive just like Fells did.
Poljan is the type of player who seems to last a decade in the NFL without every being a household name, but is still a sought after commodity. For the Browns who carry four tight ends, he could be exactly what they want in that fourth option.
Where the Browns Might Select Him: Poljan won't get his name called until day three of the draft and the Browns might be able to get him in the sixth or seventh round.