Career Recap: The Big XII is not a conference known for playing good defense, so seeing huge point totals from passing attacks going up and down the field is a regular thing. While the conference has produced a lot of quarterbacks and receivers, surprisingly it has not been a hotbed for receiving tight ends. Kolar has been the exception in recent years, presenting one of the most consistent receiving threats in the conference. He has solid skill set to become a pro starter before long.
Kolar had a broke out in 2019, catching 51 passes for 697 yards with seven touchdowns. He then stayed consistent in 2020 by hauling in 44 receptions for 591 yards and seven touchdowns.
2021 Season Outlook: During his 2021 season, Kolar should continue to have his way with the weak defenses of the Big XII. He will see four safety prospects that received projections that landed them on NFL team's preseason watch list. That group includes: Baylor's Jalen Pitre, Okahoma's Delarrin Turner-Yell, and Oklahoma State's Tre Sterling and Kolby Harvell-Peel. That trio of games could be the toughest and most important for Kolar.
Skill-Set Summary: Kolar has the ability to be a contributing receiving tight end at the next level. He is a very intelligent player who shows good feel and vision, which he uses to rip up zone coverage. Kolar can quickly read the defense to find a soft spot to get open for his quarterback, and he presents a sizable target. While Kolar is not a burner, he has enough functional speed to get downfield and some athleticism to run quality routes. Kolar uses his feel, quickness, size and athleticism to consistently achieve better position in man coverage. His size helps him adeptly wall off defensive backs to win on contested catches. Kolar's height, reach, and leaping ability allow him to make receptions over defenders, and Kolar is a real asset in the red zone. He is a natural hands catcher who should be very reliable at completing the catch for his NFL quarterback.
After the catch, Kolar has some ability to pick up yards. He fights through tackles and never goes down with a fight. Kolar doesn't have the dynamism to speed away from defenders or be a bowling ball who breaks a ton of tackles, but he will be capable of racking up extra yards through his size and quickness.
Kolar also is not liability as a blocker. He gives a quality effort and possesses the size, weight and strength to take on NFL-sized defenders. After some development, Kolar should be an effective blocker as a pro.
The preseason watch list distributed to NFL teams has Kolar with 34.28-inch arms and 10-inch hands. The scouts who made the list estimate he can run the 40-yard dash in 4.75 seconds despite being 6-foot-6, 257 pounds. Those are all quality numbers for a tight end prospect.
Kolar will need some time to adjust to the speed of NFL defenses and improve his technique to block pro defenders, but early in his rookie contract, he could be a three-down starter who is a solid receiver and blocker. It would not surprise if Kolar is an Austin Hooper-caliber tight end for the NFL. Kolar is not a speed or athletic freak like a Kyle Pitts, Darren Waller or Travis Kelce.
2022 NFL Draft Expectations: Entering the 2021 season, Kolar looks like a second-day pick, at worst. He might have the capacity to rise into late first-round consideration.