Jace Sternberger, TE
School: Texas A&M | Conference: SEC
College Experience: RS Junior | Age: 21?
Height / Weight: 6-4 / 250 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 2nd or 3rd Round
NFL Comparison: Hunter Henry
Jace Sternberger was one of the premier breakout stars this season in college football. Sternberger’s path to being one of the best tight ends in college football may not have gone as you might have expected. He was a 2-star prospect that originally committed to Kansas and caught all of one pass there after 2 years there including a redshirt season. He transferred to a community college where he got increased playing time. He was then noticed by Texas A&M’s tight end coach Tim Brewster and in 2018 ended up being the first commit of the Jimbo Fisher era at Texas A&M. He quickly became a favorite target of QB Kellen Mond and Sternberger led the team in receptions, yards per catch, and touchdowns in 2018. When he has the ball in his hands he looks dominant and is undoubtably one of the best athletic receiving tight ends in this year’s class. He also isn’t half bad as a blocker. Sternberger finished his short Texas A&M career as an All-American and should be one of the first tight ends selected in April for teams looking for a vertical option at the position.
- Good size and athleticism. Has the frame to gain weight and get stronger. Just as fast if not faster than most linebackers and safeties. Dangerous at every level of the field. Can take it to the house if he has space.
- Physical. He finishes catches by laying licks on defenders and dragging them 25 yards I think he enjoys it.
- Competent as a blocker. His technique is unpolished but he gets the job done in most instances. I was surprised at how well he did sealing the edge for his running back.
- Natural pass catcher that can go up and get the ball with ease.
- Ability to recognize defensive blitzes should improve when he’s kept at the LOS for pass or run protection sometimes he is a bit late to getting to his assignment.
- One year of production at FCS P5 level.
- Blocking technique at point of attack could stand to improve to maintain his leverage.
- Route running could be crisper will need more attention to detail in the pros.
Let’s see his work:
Jace Sternberger is one of the more fascinating CFB stories of the year:— Connor O'Gara (@cjogara) January 2, 2019
2016: Goes to Kansas, catches 1 pass for 5 yards as a freshman.
2017: Transfers to Northeastern Oklahoma A&M
2018: Transfers to Texas A&M, earns consensus All-America honors, leaves for the NFL
Nice chip from A&M TE Jace Sternberger. pic.twitter.com/WVJpj2LIVO— Cole Cubelic (@colecubelic) September 11, 2018
Is what Jace Sternberger doing here to the Safety the equivalent to dunking on someone in the NBA?pic.twitter.com/r9iCN6Qpc7— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) October 13, 2018
If this isn't on every @AggieFootball hype video until the end of time, something is seriously wrong. Jace Sternberger (@_Jstern) takes an Arkansas player's helmet and soul on this first down catch. Gets up ready to scrap on top of that. #12thman pic.twitter.com/nhfDg6Spbd— Matt Trent (@MCTrent23) September 29, 2018
How He Would Fit On The Redskins
There is a lot of talk about how the Redskins could potentially move on from Jordan Reed this offseason largely to save ~6M dollars in cap space and because Reed has yet to play a full 16 game season in his career. In my opinion, Jordan Reed is still a great tight end when healthy but their is no denying that his availability or lack thereof has been a real detriment to the team over the years. Reed will turn 29 during the offseason and whether the team decides to move on or keep him for one more year (cutting Reed after the 2019 season would yield 8.5M in cap savings instead of ~6M) the team needs to address the position now for youth and depth sake. Sternberger, is one of the most ideal replacements for an athletic pass catching TE that the Redskins should target in this upcoming draft. There is plenty of room for him. Veteran Vernon Davis should be cut for cap savings as he shown this year that he is at the end of his career by how ineffective he was in the passing game. If Reed is retained and Davis is cut Sternberger could have a good teammate to learn from while he develops his rookie year as he prepares to eventually take over the starting role. I think Sternberger is a bit more effective and much more physical than Reed so I can see him carving out a larger role for himself as the season goes on. I think with the way the Redskins offense currently operates that Sternberger could be that ‘feature TE’ Reed once was after the team recovers from its QB mess. Sternberger would be an investment for 2020 and beyond. Hopefully the folks at Redskins Park have the vision.