What Is the Packers’ Plan at Tight End?

The Packers tight end situation is up for debate. Are they set or are there additions planned?

If plan A was Austin Hooper, then is plan B Jace Sternberger? After rightfully cutting Jimmy Graham, the Green Bay Packers have yet to add any new faces to their tight end group this offseason. The NFL draft will be here in a little over two weeks, but a weak class of tight ends may not be a viable solution. Is the plan really to roll with a still-developing Sternberger, soon to be 36-year-old Marcedes Lewis, and an unproven Robert Tonyan? Until proven otherwise, it appears so.

Just to set the record, this isn’t a ‘could of should of would of’ article. The Packers made the right call in not making Hooper the highest-paid tight end in football. They also made the right call in parting ways with Graham and bringing back Lewis. He may be getting up there in age, but Aaron Rodgers has raved about having ‘Big Dog’ as a locker room presence and consistent performer. Lewis is well-known for his blocking ability, but he’s also been a solid pass-catcher despite limited opportunities.

Of course, we can’t forget about James Looney, who converted to a tight end at the end of last year. The athletic defensive tackle made the switch to hopefully carve out more of a role, however, that transition is still too fresh to gauge. 

One thing we do know is that between Sternberger and Tonyan the two have combined for 320 offensive snaps. Not even a season-worth of reps for the average NFL tight end.

In Sternberger and Tonyan, the Packers have potential but also a lot of uncertainty. Sternberger missed most of his rookie season dealing with an injured ankle. He’s yet to make his first career reception. Meanwhile, Tonyan’s claim to fame is a 54-yard touchdown scored against the Seattle Seahawks in 2018. That one play counts for a little over 30 percent of Tonyan’s career total in receiving yards.

One thing that can be said about the team’s tight end group is that they are younger than in past years. After trying out veterans Jared Cook, Martellus Bennett, and Jimmy Graham, Green Bay could take on a more youthful approach. But, is it the right decision considering the rawness of Sternberger and Tonyan?

A threatening tight end would flourish in Matt LaFleur’s scheme, and at the same time give Rodgers a long-awaited threat over the middle for the latter part of his career. Well, it is only April.

Will the Packers continue to explore free agency even though the likes of Hooper, Eric Ebron, and Greg Olsen are snatched up? Or are they going to stand pat and potentially add another body via the draft?

Whatever call they make, let’s hope it’s the right one. It would be a real shame to have the tight end position fall flat yet again.

 

 

Brandon Carwile is a Packers writer who also enjoys watching and breaking down film. Follow him on Twitter @PackerScribe.

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Comments (92)

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Bure9620's picture

April 06, 2020 at 06:35 am

They have to put faith in their 3rd round pick. This is the plan. I like Sternbergers blocking ability. This will likely be more of a running team this year. The Packers want TEs and WRs whom can block. Hopefully Sternberger pans out.

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dobber's picture

April 06, 2020 at 07:56 am

Jimmy Graham's 38 catches in 2019 are not a huge number to redistribute among the returning WR and TE group.

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Leatherhead's picture

April 06, 2020 at 10:42 am

We didn’t target the TE position, and without Graham we’re going to target it even less.

THE PLAN is that we will run more and pass less. That’s why we retain Lewis. That’s why we converted Looney to TE. That’s why we got guys like Jenkins and Wagner. That’s why we got a big WR.

We will protect Rodgers. We will depend on him to make good decisions and accurate throws and he will protect the ball so that we can win the turnover battle. But our backs are the guys who will move the ball the most.

And we will play defense, and we will be efficient on special teams and we will grind out victories.

That’s the plan.

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Stroh's picture

April 06, 2020 at 12:14 pm

I totally disagree. I think the TE will get alot more targets than last year. Its a pretty big part of LaFleur's offense to have viable TE that can block and be targets in the passing game. Partly its on Rodgers to throw to them more, clearly. But Sternberger was an outstanding receiver in college, more receiver than blocker. I think Sternberger will approach and likely exceed 50 receptions on the year. Lewis will garner maybe 20 or so.

I don't expect to see a TE drafted in the top 4 rds, but they could look for a developmental guy later in the draft. Tonyan can take a larger role as a possible receiver as well. I like the TE group as it is and have no qualms about Sternberger being thrust into a starting role. This probably isn't the year to look for a running mate for Sternberger.

I do agree the Packers will be more of a running team than last year, but that would also require another RB who can take a larger amount of carries. They'll continue to moderate Jones' carries. Williams is a limited role player who isn't going to make defense's worry when he's in the game. Drafting another RB relatively high is a strong possibility and he'll likely be Jones' replacement after the '20 season, unless Jones' accepts a team friendly contract.

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Leatherhead's picture

April 06, 2020 at 12:58 pm

Packers threw 94 passes to the TE last year. Graham got 60 targets. We’re not going to throw it more to Sternberger than we did to Graham.

I could easily see us getting an RB in the draft. I think you undervalue Williams, but regardless, we could improve at RB with a good addition.

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dobber's picture

April 06, 2020 at 01:55 pm

I'd be curious to know how many of Graham's routes originated from his being in-line. Any route he started standing up can be run by a WR or TE (or RB). Redistributing those targets is not a huge deal, and I would argue that if Sternberger gets Graham's 620 snaps, 60 targets is pretty realistic.

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Leatherhead's picture

April 06, 2020 at 01:52 pm

Yeah. If he stays healthy. If he gets all of Graham’s snaps.

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Coldworld's picture

April 06, 2020 at 04:42 pm

Sternberger plus Funchess will together get more with Tonyan behind them.

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Stroh's picture

April 06, 2020 at 05:35 pm

I would say they will DEFINITELY throw it more to Sternberger than they did to Graham. Graham couldn't get seperation any more, too slow and too old. Sternberger was very good getting open in college and led the NCAA is yrs/recpt his last year in college. He has a chance to be a real weapon, not just a dump off which is really all Graham ended up being.

Either way the TE will be a larger part of the offense, as well as the running game, which would mean they need to draft a RB to take the load off Jones.

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 06, 2020 at 08:16 pm

He was All SEC going up against some of the best college defenses in the Country. Feed him the ball and draft Sullivan in the 5th.

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 06, 2020 at 08:28 pm

No need for distribution. Get them to Sternberger and put the pedal to the metal. Draft a speed guy for the slot WR. There is no way this offense is going to be a ball control scheme, with a game manager at the QB position. You cannot count on Pettine's defense to control games, as has been proven.

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 06, 2020 at 08:12 pm

Sternberger should see the ball at least 4-5 times a game. Get this offense moving at full speed. 2 yards and a cloud of rubber pellets doesn't get it done on first and second down. Just get the cylinders turning at full rev. Keep the defenses guessing.

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HankScorpio's picture

April 06, 2020 at 06:49 am

At this point, "the plan" is obvious. There is no savior out there to fundamentally alter the equation. They may pick at the margins with a veteran addition or by striking gold with a rook. But the roster speaks for itself and the article covers what it says. Lots of questions. Not a lot of hope that the position is a strength of the offense. But it is what it is. By and large, the die is already cast.

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taarons420's picture

April 06, 2020 at 07:24 am

We don't know yet what LaFleur wants his offense to look like.

Last 2 offseasons might be giving us a glimps.
2019 FA - big athletic OG
2019 Draft - big athletic OG, dual-threat TE, thick one cut RB
2020 FA - run blocking OT, big WR (plus re-signing their most competent blocking TE)

Hopefully, the 2020 draft continues down this path.
More TEs, physical OLs, powerful RBs, big bodied WRs

Time for this team to move away from being "finesse" and move towards being "phyisical".

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Stroh's picture

April 06, 2020 at 12:19 pm

LaFleur's running game isn't based on power or physicality. The OL are chosen more for their movement ability and ability in the outside zone run. That doesn't speak to a physical OL or running game. They still need a good RB to pair w/ and possibly replace Jones after the '20 season.

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 06, 2020 at 08:41 pm

That's correct, but I would still look at a guy like Dillon in the draft. A power back who also has good footwork. You just need a guy to get the 3rd and two. Kill the clock in the fourth quarter, if they get ahead.

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Stroh's picture

April 06, 2020 at 09:23 pm

You just described Williams. If thats all you want, we've already got it covered.

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 07, 2020 at 12:03 am

Dillon is a 240# guy who can actually make cuts.

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Guam's picture

April 06, 2020 at 07:32 am

Funchess does give the Packers a big bodied WR who can make catches over middle and in the red zone where TEs are usually most effective. Not a full TE replacement, but it does give the coaching staff some receiving options they didn't have last year.

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 06, 2020 at 08:30 pm

See if he makes the cut.

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Mike Rossmeier's picture

April 07, 2020 at 03:21 pm

Funchess probably provides as much blocking at Ebron would have. They could line him up inside on certain plays - either to block or drift out into open spaces.

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mnbadger's picture

April 06, 2020 at 07:44 am

Let's not forget that while Tonyan had few catches, replays showed him mostly running free but not having balls thrown his way. Hopefully AR "trusts" him enough to throw it to him when/if he's open, even if it's only for 5 to 10 yards.

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PeteK's picture

April 06, 2020 at 07:51 am

I have a fair amount of confidence in Sternberger, especially since he showed a willingness and ability to block. His receiving ability was always his strength . Lewis is not a solid receiver but is there for his blocking and will make an occasional catch because defenses will forget about him. Also, lets not forget that we have some of the largest receivers in the NFL who can work the short and red zones.

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 06, 2020 at 08:45 pm

Large and slow. You have to beat the coverage to get open. Adams with lightening in his feet, is still the man. Now bag Reagor in the draft..

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stockholder's picture

April 06, 2020 at 07:52 am

I got to watch the Packers beat the Steelers, re-run yesterday. Lee, Crabtree, Quarless. Really did some nice stuff. Sternberger, Ronyan , and Lewis are OK, but the position still needs another athletic TE. It won't surprise me if they draft another 3 or 4. Albert Okwuegbunam and Sternberger would be awesome. Even K-met. It just could be the Ticket to another super-bowl win.

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NickPerry's picture

April 06, 2020 at 08:29 am

I've been watching quite a few past Packers games on NFL.com. What the NFL has done is offered "Game Pass" to ANYONE who cares to sign up so you're able to watch any game from any team between 2009 and 2019. I've always went on You-Tube and re-watched games but I must admit this has been pretty cool.

I like your idea regarding maybe Okwuegbunam or K-Met. Personally I have quite a bit of confidence in Sternberger, but if we could get a someone like either of those two in say the 3rd or 4th it could make the TE room VERY interesting.

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stockholder's picture

April 06, 2020 at 08:44 am

I've seen so many comments on how fast A-Rodgers really was. Gute needs to upgrade his Receivers. It so obvious watching that team from 2010.

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Leatherhead's picture

April 06, 2020 at 11:17 am

No, we don’t need to upgrade receivers; we need to run more and throw less.

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scullyitsme's picture

April 06, 2020 at 12:15 pm

It’s bad enough you come in every article and tells us it’s all about running once, but twice? We understand what you’ve been saying for months already. Could you please comment about something else for once? Thank you.

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Leatherhead's picture

April 06, 2020 at 01:05 pm

Ok

Speed. More speed. Playmakers. Thompson sucks.

Is that more acceptable, Scully?

Truthfully, its plain as day to me, based on everything than Gute and LaFleur have done, that the Packers are going to stop riding Rodgers arm. But some people are skeptics, I guess.

If you don’t like my posts, don’t read them. There are numerous posters here that I never read because they’ve demonstrated repeatedly that they don’t know squat. So just skip over my posts. It won’t hurt my feelings.

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stockholder's picture

April 06, 2020 at 03:56 pm

Ok - I get you want to run. But I know how to stop it too. @30 Swift RB @62 Neville Gallimore DT 3. Logan Wilson ILB. 4. Dt Leki Fotu DT 5. Khalil Davis DT 6. Heck OT 6 Quez Watkins WRS. 6. Jeff Thomas WRS 7. Carter Coughlin OLB 7. Tyler Clark Dt . As you can see I just replaced the whole DL and signed Bahk and Linsley. That way we can trade Clark For Love QB.

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 06, 2020 at 08:58 pm

Very riske' dealing Stock. Don't believe Fotu makes it out of the third rd. Khalil Davis in on my radar late round five with a packaged trade up using the scrub picks. The other five pick (i) would use on Sullivan, the TE from LSU. Swift is a guy a lot of teams want before Taylor, doubt he falls to #30.. He looks like Sproles. Andy Heck's son may be a ringer if he can get as nasty as the old man?? Proche with a four pick may work if they cannot bag Reagor or Jefferson. For every dinosaur action there is a jet-age reaction.

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stockholder's picture

April 07, 2020 at 07:55 am

Fotu - I've went by top 100 boards. Where I've seen Fotu etc . I agree he may not make it to rd 4. I've seen him as High as late 2, in simulations. But If 1 player could play Nt in this draft. He's my pick. Some of the guys Listed for Leather. Also those who want Defense. I prefer Offense this draft. But as long as he wants to run. Take the RB. I took Swift who is falling. But if Higgins and Reagor are gone, I'd take Swift before Mims.Jefferson. I'd take Heck before Sully because of RT. And there are guys in the 2nd, that work at WR. But this DL needs fixing. And they may decide that Clark isn't affordable. So this draft was done for the loss of Clark and Keeping Bahk and Linsley. But those DL are perfect for shaping the DL and starting over. Blacklock would be a mistake @30. He doesn't fit.

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 07, 2020 at 12:54 pm

I would still set the hierarchy at WR, OT, CB, DT, There are good DT/DEs to scope in the mid rounds. The defenses' problem is Pettine. You need bigs up front and let your Edge guys do the damage. Benito Jones is another of my favorites. Still need the big guys to shut down the early downs and then let your rushers tee off. Kirksey can handle cover on early downs and I agree with you regarding Wilson as an ILB prospect. I would not take Swift over Jefferson. I agree on Mims. If they drafted Swift he would be in the same category as A.Jones. Shared Snap counts would be lower. See how the GMs move up and down in the first. There are 30 solid players rated as ones.

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 06, 2020 at 09:06 pm

The only time you need to run more is in the playoffs. If you grind all year, the RBs are usually beat up and the O line playing with a wounded wing.

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Leatherhead's picture

April 07, 2020 at 06:15 pm

Nonsense

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Grimm's picture

April 06, 2020 at 01:27 pm

I just posted this elsewhere, but It really fits here.

I just watched highlights from the 2011 opener

Rodgers had alot of talent around him

Greg Jennings
Donald Driver
Jordy Nelson
Randall Cobb
Jermichael Finley
Ryan Grant
James Starks

7 Guys that were all very talented.

I have to compare that with our last Roster
Devonte Adams
Alan Lazzard
MVS
Other guys
Graham TE on last legs
Arron Jones
Jamal Williams

2-3 guys on that level.

Its not all on Rodgers, He is lacking playmaking talent around him. At least in my opinion.

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Leatherhead's picture

April 06, 2020 at 01:50 pm

A long time ago when Rodgers was at his peak.

Rodgers can get the job done, but we need to depend on him less. He will do a great job of protecting the ball and making good decisions and accurate throws.

But we need to keep him healthy and protected, and for as long as I can remember, the best way to protect your QB is to run the ball

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taarons420's picture

April 06, 2020 at 02:25 pm

Funny how a team can have more talent when it's QB isn't taking up a 1/4 of the overall team salary.

You get $30M/yr, you better be able to produce with whoever the team is forced to trot out on the field with you.

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Leatherhead's picture

April 06, 2020 at 03:44 pm

That is a truth. Teams with a QB on rookie contract have an advantage, but you can win with an old HOF QB.

Over the last 20 years or so, only a few QBs have won a super bowl after their 30th birthday, and they’ve had strong defenses and run games to help.

That’s what Gutekunst has been trying to accomplish since Day 1. Look at the defensive changes. Look at the kind of linemen we’ve acquired. Look how much more of a commitment to running he’s made. Every move. And it got us to 14-4.

I’m expecting more of the same. If our Defense is Top 5, and we can run the ball, then Rodgers is plenty good enough for us to win if we can protect him.

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PeteK's picture

April 06, 2020 at 03:59 pm

The vast majority of SB champs won because of balance between the defense, run, and pass. We are not built like the Ravens of 2019 nor the Pats of 2018.

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Leatherhead's picture

April 06, 2020 at 04:51 pm

Nor the Chiefs is 2019. And you should recheck your belief about balance because it’s wrong.

SB winners have one thing they do very well and several things they are good at. We didn’t win in 2010 because of our balance.

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PeteK's picture

April 07, 2020 at 07:55 am

"do very well and several things they are good at" That's the meaning of balance. Here's some saddle soap for that leather , LOL Great SB teams with balance-- Steelers , Cowboys ,Colts, Niners, Dolphins, and Pats.

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 06, 2020 at 09:10 pm

K.C. didn't run the ball to win that SB.

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Bure9620's picture

April 06, 2020 at 07:52 pm

It has what the Patriots did for 7 years. Run the ball, play great defense and let Tom move the ball down the field efficiently with short passes.

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HankScorpio's picture

April 06, 2020 at 06:59 pm

"I just watched highlights from the 2011 opener

Rodgers had alot of talent around him"

With the exception of 2015 (when everyone was hurt), Rodgers has had tons of weapons until very recently. Because they made sure to invest heavily in giving him weapons.

From 2006-08, they drafted Jennings, Jones Nelson and Finley in rounds 2-3. With Driver, they laid down an incredible base of talent. They scaled back the pace but kept going by adding Cobb in 2011 and Adams in 2014. In 2015, they added Ty Montgomery.

Beginning in 2016, every year was about "fixing the defense". In that time, they added one pass catcher in rounds 1-3, Sternberger.

It's no wonder the Packer offense has become less explosive and less dangerous. They stopped investing talent in it. I'm up to the regular season finale in the "run the table" streak of 2016 on Gamepass. It's hard to believe it is possible a guy can go from that good to what I watched last year in such a short time. I'd really like to see them draft like that '06-'08 run to see if there might be something left. If there isn't, it will still help the next guy transition.

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 07, 2020 at 12:07 am

It was fun watching that replay, almost as much fun as being there. Also on the 15-1 and done offensive attack was James Jones.That was a year for Ted to move Jennings and try to bag a one pick to use on defense. c'est la vie.

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SterlingSharpe's picture

April 06, 2020 at 08:41 pm

While I do not like Rodgers I have to admit you're right.

But those WR's he used to have were absolutely sensational. I mean James Jones was the #4 WR as a 4th year guy in that Super Bowl. Jordy was #3 in his 3rd year.
The Veteran Driver was #2, and Jennings an All-World #1 in his 5th season.

Since then, we wasted 8 years of a solid-good Randall Cobb, and the only other good pick at WR was 2014 great Davante pick.

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 06, 2020 at 08:32 pm

I wouldn't waste high picks on those two. Get the board set for OT, WR, CB and ILB. There are guys in the fifth and sixth round who will develop as TEs.

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PackfanNY's picture

April 06, 2020 at 08:03 am

“If plan A was Austin Hooper”...Outside of some unsubstantiated rumors I don’t think Hooper was really Plan A. They may have “thought” about him but it was clear from the beginning that Hooper was going to draw interest from other teams and the Packers were not going to play in those financial waters because of the salary cap realities. My only question is might the Packers draft someone for camp competition.

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Irish_Cheesehead's picture

April 06, 2020 at 08:04 am

Keep an eye on Devin Funchess. I've watched him since his days at Michigan. He played the first two seasons at TE. I never understood why they moved him to WR.

First two years at Michigan:

Sophomore (2013) ... Big Ten Kwalick-Clark Tight End of the Year ... All-Big Ten first team (media) and second team (coaches) ... Sporting News All-Big Ten Team ... earned second varsity letter ...appeared in 13 games at tight end, making nine starts ... his 748 receiving yards are the most all-time by a U-M tight end in a single season ... also tallied six touchdowns ... named one of eight semifinalist for the John Mackey Award ... named John Mackey Award Tight End of the Week (Oct. 5) ... named College Football Performance Award National Tight End of the Week (Oct. 5)

Freshman (2012) ... Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-America Team ... All-Big Ten honorable mention (media) ... ESPN.com All-Big Ten Freshman Team ... Phil Steele's Postseason All-Freshman Team ... BTN.com All-Big Ten Freshman Team ... earned first varsity letter ... appeared in 13 games at tight end, starting five contests ... tallied 15 receptions for 234 yards and five touchdowns ... five touchdown catches tied for fourth most in U-M football history by a tight end

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murf7777's picture

April 06, 2020 at 08:29 am

The reality of any team is you will have areas of forecasted weakness. There will be players who make a splash, wether that be a rookie, FA or an existing player on the team. None of us know where that will come from. The coaches have an inkling but even they don’t know for sure. Unlikely candidate could be Burks or MVS and solidify our LB or WR position. With a player taking that big jump a need can become a strength. That’s why many teams do take a BPA in the draft with and eye on need.

That being said, I think we are building a physical Offense and also think we are just one good, quick and fast receiver away from having an excellent O. I do like Ervin as a change of pace and expect him to be used occasionally this year. I’m very happy we didn’t go after Hooper because I don’t see him as a difference maker and he is getting paid as one. Also, I prefer to see our resources used elsewhere, most specifically in the trenches.

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Bure9620's picture

April 06, 2020 at 07:48 pm

They are placing emphasis on physicality. Run the ball. Let Aaron takes shots off the action and protect the ball with efficiency. Winning the turnover battle and capitalizing in the Red zone will win many games in this league.

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mrtundra's picture

April 06, 2020 at 08:32 am

Is Evan Bayliss on the PS, yet? If so, then we have Sternberger, Big Dog Lewis, Tonyan, Bayliss and Looney at TE. Sternberger just needs time on the field. Lewis is our best blocking TE. Tonyan needs time on the field, as well. If we drafted a TE, who would he supplant on the roster? I think we won't draft a TE this draft. Especially when we need O Line, D Line, ILB and WR help, so badly. We could draft a big WR like Claypool and use him and Funchess as TE type players.

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stockholder's picture

April 06, 2020 at 09:04 am

Your to loyal. Competition makes the position better. We have to upgrade Rodgers receiving Targets. Watch the super-bowl in 2010 again. The Tes were not just blockers, they were athletic. Street tuff. Gutey must look for those special players. This offense doesn't have the separation of 2010. Those guys were unstoppable. They weren't big. They were fast. And Pittsburgh couldn't stop Jennings routes. So if Gutey likes a Te, he should take him.

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 06, 2020 at 10:23 pm

I see one TE in Sternberger and an Inline blocker in Lewis. They will have to draft another TE by the fifth.

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Lare's picture

April 06, 2020 at 09:26 am

The Packers obviously think Sternberger has the talent & potential to be a starting TE in the NFL, otherwise they wouldn't have drafted him in the 3rd round last year. Like all rookies, he needs a year of strength & conditioning and reps. If he can run correct pass routes, Rodgers will make him look good.

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NWPackersfan's picture

April 06, 2020 at 09:26 am

I realize we are talkng TE's but don't forget about these guys in the WR and Run game....
The team announced the signing of receiver and CFL all-star Reggie Begelton (6-0, 200) to a deal that will ensure he’s on the Packers’ 90-man roster this coming offseason.

Fullback Elijah Wellman (6-1, 241) also signed a futures deal with the Packers.

Begelton, the all-time leading receiver at Lamar University, caught 102 passes for 1,444 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL in 2019. He finished second in the league in receptions and third in receiving yards and touchdowns.

Begelton was one of 27 CFL all-stars and a unanimous selection as the team’s MVP this past season.
Not hearing to much about these signings and with the couple of resigned FA's Like Ervin, Funchess, Lewis and Wagner.
My thoughts are to concentrate on Defense in the draft unless a player that can't be passed by drops in our lap.
For some reason AR doesn't seem to love TE's much unless they are blocking for him....

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Demon's picture

April 06, 2020 at 01:40 pm

You wont hear much about the signing of the beagle because its not much of a signing. Placing hopes in someone who wasnt even on a NFL practice squad seems like a bit of a reach.

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taarons420's picture

April 06, 2020 at 02:29 pm

Soooooo.... focus on defense in the draft.... because Reggie Begelton, Elijah Wellman, Tyler Ervin, Devin Funchess, Marcedes Lewis, and Rick Wagner are going to fix the offense.

Um.

Ok.

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NWPackersfan's picture

April 07, 2020 at 04:54 pm

Hi, My point really was that we need a starting DT and ILB more right now than another WR or RB or TE in the early rounds But if a great OT falls grab him but it doesn't look likely unless we move up....Just was my thought....

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stockholder's picture

April 07, 2020 at 05:20 pm

I tend to agree. The moves are heading to all in this year. The top pick should be ILB. If Gutey misses it's BPA. @30

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Archie's picture

April 06, 2020 at 09:51 am

I am hopeful/optimistic about Sternberger's talent and his potential to develop. That said, I would not be surprised to see GB grab a TE in this draft. Kmet, the kid from ND is regarded as the top TE in this draft and fits from late R2 on.

From Daniel Jeremiah ......

Kmet checked in at No. 41 on Jeremiah’s list.

“Kmet has an ideal frame for the TE position. He lined up inline and flexed out in Notre Dame's offense. In the passing game, he has good speed and does a lot of damage working in the seams. He uses his big frame to wall off defenders and pluck the ball in traffic (see: Georgia game). He isn't very polished or nuanced at the top of his route. He is at his best when he stays on the move instead of working back to the quarterback. He is physical after the catch, but he doesn't provide much wiggle or elusiveness. In the run game, he can effectively shield and wall off at the point of attack, and he takes good angles working up to the second level. Kmet was the closer on Notre Dame's baseball team and should make major strides now that he's solely focused on football. Overall, Kmet isn't a dynamic player, but he's going to get stronger. I see him as a reliable, long-term starter at the position.”

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MITM's picture

April 06, 2020 at 10:54 am

I was recently watching tape of a defensive player who just happened to be playing against ND. Kmet was catching everything

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Stroh's picture

April 06, 2020 at 12:33 pm

So Kmet sounds alot like the 36 yr old Lewis. Not much of receiving threat and has the size to become a good blocker. He's not the answer to TE nearly as much as Sternberger. I can't see the Packers taking him in the 2nd rd. Maybe 3rd if he falls. He might develop into a long term starter, but he certainly isn't ready for that role this season. Sternberger provides much more of the receiver LaFleur wants at TE. I wouldn't really bother w/ Kmet, I don't see any quality in him that screams difference making TE. Keep Sternberger and Tonyan and let them develop this year. See how they look and MAYBE consider adding a TE in the following draft, not this year, unless its a late round flier on an athletic guy.

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Archie's picture

April 07, 2020 at 10:56 am

C Claypool WR/TE.

While Kmet may be the #1 TE in the draft, he wasn't the #1 TE for his own team (ND). That would be Chase Claypool, who played WR. He has all the size and athleticism of a Calvin Johnson and may even be more of a natural catching the ball. If Kmet is worth the 60th pick in this draft, I would think Claypool is worth the 30th pick. If you don't believe me, check out his game film, he is VERY SPECIAL. He blew everyone away at the COMBINE too. This guy could be Gutey's #1. If so, I wouldn't recommend getting cute and trading down into lower 30s to pick up an extra day 3 pick. Sternberger & Claypool would make a great combo for 12s late career.

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MITM's picture

April 06, 2020 at 10:57 am

I have a good feeling about Sternberger.

I was pleasantly surprised to see him turn out to be twice the lead blocker Vitale was for us. Vitale was the classic "looks like Tarzan plays like Jane" Sternberger was out there sticking his face into people.

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Tarynfor12's picture

April 06, 2020 at 12:46 pm

Like the ILB position, it certainly looks like the plan is not to improve the value of it. The best guy they had in recent years was allowed to walk away and then the FO immediately signed past their prime and contributing ability guys, whose names should not be required to type as it will stir the blind optimist to defend them, so I will just allow them to agree without forcing them to reveal their previously blind optimism about these nameless failures.

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Stroh's picture

April 06, 2020 at 12:47 pm

The plan, and correct one at that is to give Sternberger every opportunity to grap hold of the starting TE position. He would have to fall on his face this season, not to be the starter. Continue to develop him and Tonyan, use Lewis as another blocker and occasional receiver. See how they develop this season and continually push them to become the answer at TE. Any TE drafted this year is only going to be a year behind and not overtake them. If the Packers don't see the progress from Sternberger and Tonyan they want this season, then in next years FA or the '21 draft they might consider a TE higher. That won't happen this draft.

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stockholder's picture

April 06, 2020 at 01:57 pm

Bob Tonyan won't improve. He is what he is. Sternberger is your top TE now. He can improve. Lewis is year to year. K-met works, but I wouldn't draft him in the top 100. No Te should be taken in the Top 100.

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Stroh's picture

April 06, 2020 at 05:41 pm

Totally disagree regarding Tonyan. He didn't play TE till his last year of college IIRC. He was a TE so he had alot of work that was needed. He could easily take a big jump this year and next. Similar to Driver who took 4 years to develop after being mostly a track athlete in college but developed into a great WR. Driver was on the PS for 3 yrs before he was good enough to make the roster.

Kmet is a stiff. Big lumbering, not very athletic. Complete pass on Kmet!

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 07, 2020 at 12:01 am

Look to the 5th round to bring in a guy that will probably develop into a better product than lumberfoot C-ment.. The TE from Missouri is a freak of nature, but does he know the Game? The front of the draft has to cover OT,WR, CB and DT.

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Point-Packer's picture

April 06, 2020 at 01:28 pm

Pull another "coups" and get an idiot like Martellus Bennett and a special teamer like Lance Kendricks.

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GilbertBurger's picture

April 06, 2020 at 01:32 pm

It’s probably controversial, but I would like to see them use Lazard as a move TE. On paper, he looks like a great fit between his blocking, route running and hands. Of course that plan requires us to have a WR2 and WR3 worthy of seeing the field.

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dobber's picture

April 06, 2020 at 02:04 pm

A move TE is just a TE who doesn't put his hand on the ground and play in-line very much. Lazard already does that. I think we'll be disappointed if we ask Lazard to block edge players and OLBs very much, but he's well-suited to block CBs and S.

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WestWi_Packfan's picture

April 06, 2020 at 04:23 pm

To small for TE and desperately needed at WR, so I don't think that happens.

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DraftHobbyist's picture

April 06, 2020 at 06:38 pm

Unlikely. The Packers already asked him to lose weight and they were happy with the results when he did.

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 07, 2020 at 12:10 am

That would be Funchess' role.

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Z-Smith's picture

April 08, 2020 at 12:25 am

I would like to see them use ESB like this. He had some great blocks 2 years ago. I remember some game where he went inside the tackle and stonewalled a LB.

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NJGreg's picture

April 06, 2020 at 03:29 pm

Maybe Lazard bulls up a little for the TE position?
He is a good blocker with great hands.

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Coldworld's picture

April 06, 2020 at 04:45 pm

Lazard slimmed down time get faster. We need receivers. Lazard is still learning, I’d rather let him continue than mess with him.

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 07, 2020 at 12:16 am

Project time is over in Packertown. Lazard played WR four seasons for Iowa State and dominated the competition by running clean routes and making the catch to move the chains. His catch in Detroit was outstanding, the sideline grab for the 3rd down conversion, the post for the TD vs the Giants spells WR and currently he is the # two guy for Rodgers.
If you want TEs, then draft them. Guys that played the TE position throughout their college careers.

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WestWi_Packfan's picture

April 06, 2020 at 04:17 pm

Just to correct the record here, Sternberger has a career catch as he caught a Garbage time TD from Rogers in the playoff game against the Niners, although I can totally understand why they forgot. As far as the Packers addressing the position, if they are not happy with what they have & cannot find anyone they like in the draft, there is always training camp and pre-season cuts as maybe a younger player with potential cant make a team thats deep at TE.

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CheesyTex's picture

April 06, 2020 at 04:36 pm

Perhaps Looney gets a roster spot if he can double as FB. Easy to love the idea of his size and athleticism as a blocking TE and occasional FB. Could even grow into a Big Dog. Tis the season for dreaming...

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Adorabelle's picture

April 06, 2020 at 04:57 pm

Between Lazard and Devin S, Scrumptious don't they have enough great big pass catchers? They need the speedy little one not anymore big guys.

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DraftHobbyist's picture

April 06, 2020 at 06:36 pm

Sternberger had 3 receptions on 3 targets in the playoffs, so no, he's not still waiting on his first career reception. I think the Packers are considering adding another TE to the group, but I think they are depending a lot on Sternberger whether they do or not. He's a Round 3 TE going into his 2nd year. He has shown that he looks the part, now he just needs to rack up the stats and show on-field maturity. I think TE Albert O MISSOURI would be a great option if the Packers can get him on Day 2. He can stretch the field and block well, and Albert O and Sternberger could be a serious problem for opposing teams in a few years.

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DraftHobbyist's picture

April 06, 2020 at 06:36 pm

Sternberger had 3 receptions on 3 targets in the playoffs, so no, he's not still waiting on his first career reception. I think the Packers are considering adding another TE to the group, but I think they are depending a lot on Sternberger whether they do or not. He's a Round 3 TE going into his 2nd year. He has shown that he looks the part, now he just needs to rack up the stats and show on-field maturity. I think TE Albert O MISSOURI would be a great option if the Packers can get him on Day 2. He can stretch the field and block well, and Albert O and Sternberger could be a serious problem for opposing teams in a few years.

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Bure9620's picture

April 06, 2020 at 07:18 pm

With a heavier dose of the run is JT23 an option at 30???

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PhantomII's picture

April 06, 2020 at 08:05 pm

This WR Claypool mentioned above Big kid 6-4" runs a 4.42-40. Kind of a hybrid TE size. He seems like a fit for any team. Not sure what round he is expected to go in. It would be nice to have a couple WR's run in the 4.3s to get that secondary backpedaling to give the TE group some room to operate. Whatever the end result our team did good in a first year offense. ML will get better at game planning and using his resources at hand more efficiently. I swear some players got completely forgotten about in game planning. I hope ML develops more dual RB plays one in the slot and one in the backfield.

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Archie's picture

April 07, 2020 at 11:02 am

Claypool would be a perfect hybrid WR/TE for GB or anyone, for that matter. I'm thinking you may have to use pick 30 to get him but he would instantly change the Pack's offensive fortunes. Go get him Gutey!

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CoachDino's picture

April 07, 2020 at 01:04 am

Don't get the One or the Other question on what the Packers are going to do. IT 90% for sure JACE.
Is there an impact TE available in FA?
Did they ever really have the money to sign one if it wasn't affordable?
Who are they going to draft in this weak TE class, that will have an impact in a position known for needing a year or two learning?
IS TE more of a need than WR/OT/ILB/CB/RB/IOL? In a weak draft class in the late rounds.

Every year there a position or two or three etc.. that you just got to dance with who you are there with.

Can you tell I'm done with the getting a TE this year...lol The facts on paper are that Jace will be a much bigger weapon than Graham. Include tonyan as well. They can create mismatches, Graham can not oh and either can Hooper. He a scheme open TE from all the reports put out there.

They will be improved at TE this year.

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jamestinker's picture

April 07, 2020 at 02:12 am

That's great Thank you.

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