clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Cheese Curds, 5/3: Jace Sternberger will be compared to other NFC North tight end picks

The Packers’ third-round pick will be indirectly competing against T.J. Hockenson and Irv Smith for most of his career.

NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

While two other NFC North teams landed top tight ends in the first two rounds of the 2019 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers were content to sit back and wait for round three to find a player at that position. The Detroit Lions have T.J. Hockenson now (8th overall pick) and the Minnesota Vikings drafted Irv Smith at 50, but Jace Sternberger — the 75th selection — will be the player of the future in Green Bay.

There will probably be comparisons of those three players for years to come, and to some extent that will be justified. After all, the Packers had a chance to snag Smith at 44 but selected offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins instead. But one thing that Sternberger has over those other two players already is a better production level in their final collegiate season.

Of the three, Sternberger led in receiving yards (832) and touchdowns (10), as well as yards per reception (17.3). Only Smith’s 49 receptions exceeded a mark that Sternberger posted (he had 48).

Still, trying to measure the three by rookie year impact will be a poor way to break them down. Hockenson will likely enter the year as the Lions’ starter ahead of free agent acquisition Jesse James. Smith will probably be the #2 in Minnesota behind Kyle Rudolph, but the Vikings’ veteran could still be a candidate to be cut as a cap casualty. Meanwhile, Sternberger will almost certainly play the #3 role behind Jimmy Graham and Marcedes Lewis, biding his time before he is likely to take over in 2020.

Any one of these players could have the more productive career; it’s on the teams’ coaching staffs now to bring the most out of them. And of course, Packers fans hope that Sternberger will be the most successful of this bunch.

Jace Sternberger facing steep learning curve |
While this is true, you can say the same about any rookie tight end. There’s nothing inherent to Sternberger as a player or a person that suggests that his development should take longer than any other player at his position in this draft class, and in fact he should be able to contribute as a receiver immediately in some capacity.

Jace Sternberger, Dexter Williams took rocky roads to Packers - ESPN
Second-chances were a theme with these two players -- Sternberger's coming as a second crack at FBS football, and Williams' after a suspension at Notre Dame.

Packers weren’t interested in bringing back Clay Matthews | Packers Wire's Mike Silver is pretty plugged in to both the Packers and Matthews' camp, and he reports that Green Bay never really expressed much interest in bringing Clay back -- especially not when his price jumped up a bit.

Underrated Skoronski ‘just out-blocked everybody’ |
In the 1960s, left tackle was not the premium position it is today, but Skoronski was one of the very best and still gets overlooked among all the greats on the Packers' offensive lines.

Eagles sign LB Zach Brown to one-year contract -
Brown has been a popular name in Packers circles following the draft, but he's now unavailable after landing in Philly.

Chewbacca Actor Peter Mayhew Dies At Age 74 : NPR
Mayhew was active in the Star Wars fan community and was a beloved member of the cast.