Packers Select Jace Sternberger, Tight End, in 2019 NFL Draft - Round 3

MEASURABLES/COMBINE:

4.75 40 / 17 bench press reps / 31.5 vert / 113 broad jump / 7.19 cone drill / 4.31 shuttle

CAREER NOTES:

Sternberger was a two-star college prospect acording to 247Sports — he played both tight end and defensive end as a senior at Kingfisher High School. As a freshman in 2016 at Kansas, he played in 10 games. As a sophomre for Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, he caught 21 passes for 336 yards and six touchdowns. As a junior in 2018, he was earned first team All-America honors by the Associated Press, Football Writers Association of America, The Sporting News and Walter Camp. Was a John Mackey Award semifinalist. Was named Texas A&M's team MVP after catching 47 passes for 804 yards and 10 touchdowns. 

SCOUTING REPORT:

NFL.com: Despite his experience in-line and willingness to block in Jimbo Fisher's offense, he has neither the size nor strength to handle those duties as a pro. Sternberger is athletic with above-average ball skills, catch radius and route breaks that help him undercover on the second and third level. His paychecks will be tied to his pass-catching so he'll need to play stronger through route contact and with better focus when contested. He has eventual starter potential as a move tight-end who can function as a big WR3/4 from the slot.

The Draft Network:  Jace Sternberger is an excellent receiving threat from the TE position and his receiving chops should allow him to get reps early as a rookie. Sternberger has smooth breaks, soft hands, good concentration skills and enough blocking to not be considered a liability at the POA. He needs to continue to add some false breaks on his routes and really focus on his balance and lower body power as a blocker but his three year projection is favorable, can impact pass game year one. 

 

 

 

 

 

COMMENTARY: 

What really stands out to me is Sternberger's perseverence. He has gone from the University of Kansas to Northeastern Oklahoma A&M of all places, before finally landing at Texas A&M. He has paid his dues and now all he wants to do is produce. He is arguably the best receiving tight end in this draft, which is going to make Aaron Rodgers very happy. In addition to having excellent hand and a high football IQ, he is also a solid blocker. This is an excellent pick by Brian Gutekunst because the average age of Jimmy Graham and Marcedes Lewis is 33 and I highly doubt that both are back in Green Bay next year. 

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

NFL Categories: 
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Comments (74)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
GBPDAN1's picture

April 26, 2019 at 09:13 pm

Great pick for the 3rd rd

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stockholder's picture

April 26, 2019 at 09:20 pm

I agree!

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

April 26, 2019 at 09:25 pm

My favorite pick.so far.

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Dzehren's picture

April 26, 2019 at 11:07 pm

Big plus he can line up in the slot as well.

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Barnacle's picture

April 27, 2019 at 06:41 am

Thank you Gute for finally making a good investment(Sternberger)of our draft capital.

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Rak47's picture

April 28, 2019 at 08:39 am

The article says he ran a 4.75 but as Jon Kuhn said in his piece on packerscom "Sternberger followed that up with a 4.66", which is much faster and would raise his overall RAS from 5.9 to 6.7!

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ShooterMcGee's picture

April 26, 2019 at 09:21 pm

At least he looks faster than Richard Rodgers our last 3rd round TE steal.

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stockholder's picture

April 26, 2019 at 09:26 pm

He has the same speed as Hock 4.75. Same size. A-Rod is going to love him.

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MarkinMadison's picture

April 26, 2019 at 09:30 pm

Hock is miles ahead of him as a blocker right now, and had a 4.7 40, for whatever that .05 is worth. I thought Warring was a better fit right now. A more well-rounded player right now. But Sternberger has a lot of upside and may be pretty good in a couple of years.

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HankScorpio's picture

April 27, 2019 at 06:15 am

I would have gone with Warring, too. Warring has a much better athletic profile. Sternberger is the first pick the Packers made in this draft that does not profile as an elite athlete.

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

April 27, 2019 at 10:20 am

maybe

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

April 27, 2019 at 08:51 am

Jace has ability but needs a couple of years to develop an NFL physique. He is light years behind this years top TE's in explosiveness. Hock out jumps Jase by 6 or 7" and Fant out jumps Jase by 8 or 9". Standing vertical and broad jump is used to measure a players explosiveness. Jace has talent but needs several years to build an NFL body.

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 26, 2019 at 10:22 pm

Gutekunst just said he timed him at 4.66 in the forty.

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dobber's picture

April 27, 2019 at 05:30 am

...and since every route in the NFL is 40 yards in a straight line and run in shorts and a t-shirt, they're all set! ;)

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

April 27, 2019 at 10:22 am

Agree about Burks

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PeteK's picture

April 27, 2019 at 10:34 am

I hope he's not another turnstile blocker like Graham and learns to block.

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RWood832's picture

April 26, 2019 at 09:23 pm

Oren Burks better pan out this year. GB passed on 3 good linebacker prospects with higher grades than this TE. I see only one starter from this year's draft - Savage. That is disappointing for a team that really needed an infusion of talent.

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MarkinMadison's picture

April 26, 2019 at 09:29 pm

Jenkins could very well be a starter this year. Give Gary a chance. He may surprise you.

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RWood832's picture

April 26, 2019 at 09:33 pm

Gary will be a rotation guy behind the Smiths - not a starter.
I hope Lane Taylor gets his mojo back and BB stays healthy, at least for 12 games. Turner takes over RG and EJ is the guy that dresses that you hope never plays this year.

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 26, 2019 at 09:43 pm

Elgton is staring right at Taylor's spot.

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JakeDickerson's picture

April 27, 2019 at 08:46 am

Z. Smith will likely rush from the inside a considerable amount. Gary will probably be on the field a lot on 3rd downs.

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Handsback's picture

April 26, 2019 at 09:32 pm

RW, think how many UDFA the Packers have in that oline? Now you have some drafted talent competing for snaps and providing depth (because we know injuries hit the Packers like bees to flowers). The TE was 1st team All-American. He will get some real playing time. Gary will get a lot of snaps as well. He's the best athlete the Packers have drafted in some time.
Don't get down, just give them a chance.

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RWood832's picture

April 26, 2019 at 09:37 pm

I selected EJ in almost every mock draft I did prior to the draft in this spot because I thought those linebackers would be gone. I really like him as a prospect.

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RWood832's picture

April 26, 2019 at 09:38 pm

I meant I had him in the third round, not the second.

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johngalt's picture

April 26, 2019 at 09:34 pm

Rwood- attitude shapes reality- not the other way around. You have too dim a vision. You’re kind of a bummer

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RWood832's picture

April 26, 2019 at 09:40 pm

I have nothing against any of the players. Just the value where they were selected. Almost every year GB picks their guys a round earlier than I think they should have.

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johngalt's picture

April 26, 2019 at 09:44 pm

You should swap digits with Gutey. Sounds like he could use your input for tomorrow.

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justjan's picture

April 27, 2019 at 09:16 am

lol.

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stockholder's picture

April 26, 2019 at 10:29 pm

The problem is the reach. Savage was a 54 by draft TEk. Not to mention two forths. Which cost them Risner in my opinion. The other is Gary. (Expected to drop.) Wilkins was the pick to replace Wilkerson. And with so many pushing for Oliver. DT should have been the pick. Not Gary. Their packers now regardless. So Your right. Savage was Randall 2.0, which blew everyone away. Next Rollins. Another gamble. TTs versatility. Nobody thought the safeties were first round this year. Another demerit for Gute.

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Summer_PackerBacker's picture

April 26, 2019 at 11:01 pm

Because Draft tek knows all? I'm confused by the circular logic of angry fans, where trusting in the organization is stupid because they don't value players like we do, yet we take the word of random draft sites as if they are the absolute word of truth? Why are we valuing part time, non professional writer's opinions more than those of a group of men who are making a killing doing this for a living??? Not saying gutey is all knowing but geez, give a professional his fair due...

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NickPerry's picture

April 27, 2019 at 03:52 am

Hey SH... And Draft Scout had him as the #1 overall FS. Draftek is a bit off IMO, especially if you pay attentions to some of their mock drafts on a consistent basis leading up to the draft... They go all over the place, one week they'll have a prospect going in the 1st, they next in the 3rd.

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 27, 2019 at 08:47 am

Get reliable draft coverage. Sternberger was a low 2 onsome boards. Oliver and Warring right behind him. Semple a solid TE to Cincy. Gutekunst said he timed him at 4.66 during his GB visit. Same speed as Fant, but with better hands.

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Titletown tremor's picture

April 27, 2019 at 09:40 am

fant was 4.5. not the same as fant. I like the pick, but he is not the athlete Fant is

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carlos's picture

April 27, 2019 at 08:19 am

How many did you interview?

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EddieLeeIvory's picture

April 27, 2019 at 06:29 am

I think what you said is pretty fair. Why 10 thimb downs wow, sensitive peanut gallery this week.

I would have taken Irv Smith for sure with pick 3.
I bet Elgton would have been there at 75 still.

Viqueens took Smith later, so in 3, 4+ years I will be looking closely at Smith vs Sternberger.

Just like Damarious Randall & Eric Kendricks comps.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

April 27, 2019 at 06:45 pm

I had a first-round grade on Jenkins as a center. I thought he could probably play OG as well while doubting that he could play a lick of OT. He is a good player. No way to know if he would have dropped to 75. Ordinarily, I'd say no chance, but there was a ton of talent in the 2nd and 3rd rounds.

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

April 27, 2019 at 10:22 am

And faster when he is wanting a Krispy Kreme hot donut. lol

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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

April 27, 2019 at 12:20 pm

Clueless. You are seriously clueless. Nobody, I mean nobody, even the people paid to do this job, know who is going to be an impact player as a rookie. You're seriously silly, or maybe dumb. The first two picks are a huge infusion of talent. After having such an anemic pass rush the last couple of years, to pick one of the top rush athletes in the draft (with top 10 talent), you think that's no infusion? GB always needed more than 2 starting quality OLBs. The last year their defense was really good was 2014 when they had Matthews, Perry, Peppers, Neal and Datone Jones in rotation.

And Savage is faster than any safety we've had since Nick Collins and a smart and consistent player who is a good tackler. Those have all been missing from that position. That's terms an "infusion of talent." Let Pettine and his crew coach these guys up before you decide anything,

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Swisch's picture

April 26, 2019 at 09:27 pm

On the tape, he looks close to being a wide receiver -- which could be a really good thing.

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Cubbygold's picture

April 26, 2019 at 09:35 pm

A wr that isn't afraid to go over the middle. Can't wait to see him connect with rodgers

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draftnut59's picture

April 26, 2019 at 09:27 pm

Good pick

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Cubbygold's picture

April 26, 2019 at 09:33 pm

He must be good if they were able to get youtube down there to film so many of his games

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Adorabelle's picture

April 27, 2019 at 12:45 am

He played in the SEC. Of course there were cameras there!

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Daren726's picture

April 26, 2019 at 09:35 pm

I still like big Bob Tonyan

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Cubbygold's picture

April 26, 2019 at 09:36 pm

Be a nice 2 TE combo

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 26, 2019 at 09:40 pm

He's a compromise for Doug.

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sam1's picture

April 26, 2019 at 09:43 pm

Seems to be a hell f a good solid pick at this point in draft!

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Qoojo's picture

April 26, 2019 at 09:55 pm

"Despite his experience in-line and willingness to block in Jimbo Fisher's offense, he has neither the size nor strength to handle those duties as a pro"

Makes him sound like a slow WR.

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Adorabelle's picture

April 26, 2019 at 10:08 pm

Which is the definition of a tight end. LOL

Actually just sounds like it means he might not be a great help for the running game but a good catching tight end.

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Titletown tremor's picture

April 27, 2019 at 09:48 am

Not many TE's come into the NFL ready to block up to NFL standards, which made Hockenson more valuable than other TE's this year. It also takes some time to develop receiving skills in the league too. Gronkowski only had 42 catches as a rookie, starting 11 games. Zack Ertz had 36 receptions year 1. Tight Ends seem to have a history of needing a year to develop in the NFL. He's 250lbs+ and runs a 4.66-4.7. He's a receiving TE that will take some time to develop as an inline player. He is not a slow WR.

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Ferrari Driver's picture

April 28, 2019 at 07:43 pm

Qoojo
Whether you are right or wrong, your post made me laugh so I had to give you a Thumbs up. I love that "slow WR" line.

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tm_inter's picture

April 26, 2019 at 10:16 pm

Elgton Jenkins had a lot of production in 2018: 48 receptions for 832 yards and 10 TDs. He is used to catching balls.

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Bart_Starred's picture

April 27, 2019 at 02:15 am

Elgton Jenkins did that???

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Bure9620's picture

April 27, 2019 at 07:12 am

At 310 lbs

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Red Foreman's picture

April 27, 2019 at 08:56 am

Best pass catching offensive lineman in college football last year

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GatorJason's picture

April 28, 2019 at 06:50 am

Yes, Yes! MS was very successful in running the Center-eligible play. Even more impressive is when EJ ran the Center run play where the ball just touches the QB hands and allowed him to keep it and run the ball. I'm not sure why they don't do that in the NFL. Clearly EJ should have been a 1st Rd pick with those skills alone!

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Tundraboy's picture

April 26, 2019 at 10:23 pm

Great pick.

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CoachJV's picture

April 26, 2019 at 10:36 pm

I like this pick... he has good hands and will take a lot of pressure off needing another WR... which he could essentially be, like young Graham with the Saints.

If he can learn to block, he'll be even better.

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baldski's picture

April 26, 2019 at 11:21 pm

I agree catches with his hands out in space very softly. Looks Good.

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Titletown tremor's picture

April 27, 2019 at 09:52 am

Jimmy graham had 31 catches his rookie year. Its awesome we drafted a TE this year as it clearly takes time to develop a TE. I hope he can catch 30-40 passes and 4-6 TD's this year. I think that would be a fantastic rookie season.

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Since'61's picture

April 26, 2019 at 11:13 pm

Sternberger should be able to contribute to MLFs offense this season. He will be a nice fit. Thanks, Since ‘61

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Cwilly's picture

April 26, 2019 at 11:56 pm

With all the hate I’m starting to think the pack didn’t go safe and this draft is the best in years. Finally look forward to next season!

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Packerjeff's picture

April 27, 2019 at 12:48 am

Agree Cwilly
Looking forward to the season
GO PACK GO

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Montana's picture

April 27, 2019 at 02:47 am

Tape looks good on Jace, with some guidance on blocking I think this is a good fit......Go Pack

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Oppy's picture

April 27, 2019 at 05:00 am

How big are this kid's hands? He not only naturally plucks the ball out of the air away from his body, but he also seems to secure the ball without the use of his body.

So many young WRs- even when they grab the ball out of the air away from their bodies- don't really secure the catch without their bodies. They just use their reach to bring the ball into their bread basket before really getting a grip on the ball. Not this fella, it looks like he legitimately has full, secure control of the ball before he reels it in to protect it. Lots of contested catches on film too.

Could be a nice pick up.

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EddieLeeIvory's picture

April 27, 2019 at 06:30 am

10-6 this year.
Playoffs very possible.

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Bure9620's picture

April 27, 2019 at 06:37 am

His play speed looks faster than a 4.75. Some thrive in the underwear Olympics and can't play when the pads come on, Sternberger looks the opposite. He ran some flat routes to the sideline out of the backfield and ran away from linebackers to the edge. He can be a threat down the seam, like his tape a lot.

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 27, 2019 at 08:52 am

4.66 40 latest clocking.

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John Galt's picture

April 27, 2019 at 07:52 am

A lot of those catches and TD's in the highlight reel came against Kentucky, South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama and Clemson. Pretty impressive. He also seems to drag corners another 5 or 10 yards after the catch. He'll be a good addition.

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Wilment's picture

April 27, 2019 at 08:05 am

Really like this pick. This kid averaged 17 yards per catch. Wasn't really quick, but in the couple games I saw him, he made some nice catches and finds ways to get open. I think he can make a difference out of the gate. Give Rodgers back that dependable extra set of hands he lost with the exit of Richard Rogers. Good job on this guy! GO PACKGO!

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

April 27, 2019 at 08:56 am

Looks like he runs well even though he isnt fast. In watching his video I would never have guessed his forty time was in the 4.8's. Case where he plays faster than his timed speed.

What is surprising is how poorly his vertical and broad jump is what jumps out to me. He lacks explosiveness meaning he really needs to work on his lower body. Fant can out jump him by about 8 or 9". Even Hock can out jump him by about 6 or 7". Jase is definitely a developmental TE who needs to really work on developing an NFL physique. With this aside his video's show promise but he will need several years at minimum to develop.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

April 27, 2019 at 08:57 am

Looks like he runs well even though he isnt fast. In watching his video I would never have guessed his forty time was in the 4.75. Case where he plays faster than his timed speed.

What is surprising is how poorly his vertical and broad jump is that jumps out to me. He lacks explosiveness meaning he really needs to work on his lower body. Fant can out jump him by about 8 or 9". Even Hock can out jump him by about 6 or 7". Jase is definitely a developmental TE who needs to really work on developing an NFL physique. With this aside his video's show promise but he will need several years at minimum to develop.

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PeteK's picture

April 27, 2019 at 10:56 am

Still very upset we missed on Taylor and especially Risner. A meager move up would have landed Risner. We drafted a lineman who has has been moved around his whole college career in the second round who probably would have been there today. So now we have possibly a solid backup center and a card shuffle for the T position when the inevitable Bulaga injury occurs.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

April 27, 2019 at 07:04 pm

I like the Sternberger pick. He is worth a 3rd rounder. I do think there were better players available. I thought David Long, CGJ, Mack Wilson and a number of others were better prospects. In terms of fit, I liked McLaurin a lot as well.

All that aside, I like Sternberger: he should fit in nicely and I think will help make GB better.

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