The Baltimore Ravens seem to be looking for something they don’t have at the tight end position. The Ravens signed Jacob Breeland and Eli Wolfe as undrafted free agents last year. The Ravens brought in Eric Tomlinson after Nick Boyle was injured and Luke Wilson wasn’t cutting it.
It turned into J.K. Dobbins being drafted to Purple and Black so it worked out. Still, the Ravens are still working at finding a player who can hold their own with Mark Andrews and the versatile Boyle. Now the Ravens have added an undrafted free agent into the mix with Tony Poljan.
Poljan is an interesting player because he was originally a quarterback. In his third year at Central Michigan, he switched over to the tight end position. He transferred to Virginia in his last year of College Football. In 2019 he had 33 receptions for 496 yards and four touchdowns. In 2020, he had 38 receptions for 411 yards and six touchdowns.
Switching over from the quarterback position shows me a couple of things. First, it shows me that he just wants to play football. Poljan wouldn’t make that move if he was ruled by his ego, a lot of players get asked to make this transition and choose not to do it.
Secondly, it tells me that he gets the game from the perspective of two positions. He’s dropped back to make a pass and he’s run routes to catch a pass. Finally, it tells me that there is a reason he’s raw and has been limited in what he can do. He hasn’t been doing this for that long.
Poljan is massive. He’s 6-7 and weighs almost 250 pounds. He has the prototype tight end size. When you watch Poljan, you can see why the Ravens like him. He’s a high effort player. He’ll probably have to start out as a blocking tight end as he develops as a receiving threat on offense.
His blocking is just like everything else with his game. It needs some work but it’s not that bad. Poljan isn’t that explosive of an athlete and that’s something that sticks out when I watch his tape. I had him as a sixth-round pick. If he can get it done on special teams it could give him the time he needs to develop.
If you lined Poljan up next to Mark Andrews, Poljan would tower over him. The only thing you need to know about Poljan right now is that he looks the part and he’s going to give it his all.
The Bottom Line:
There’s a reason the Ravens want to see what he’s got and there is a reason that he’s an undrafted free agent. When we talk about undrafted free agents the take is too often that this could be a diamond in the rough, a steal we’ll talk about forever.
Poljan is the typical kind of player that goes undrafted. He’s in a situation where he has an uphill battle. The Ravens have two starting tight ends. The competition for the third tight end spot in Baltimore is easily the most competitive race for a third tight end spot in the NFL.
At the moment the Ravens could see Poljan as a player that can be a useful body to get them through training camp and the preseason. With great effort, Poljan has a chance to change that likely perception of him. That’s what being an undrafted free agent is all about. That’s why Poljan is one to at the very least pay attention to as a Ravens fan.