Jace Sternberger – Texas A & M – TE: I know a lot of Bears fans will be like why would you pick a Tight End when your biggest need is Running Back? Well, when you have a real seam busting Tight End like Sternberger staring you in the face how do you not turn your card in with Sternberger’s name on it? The Running Back class is so deep you may just get your answer with an undrafted college free agent. Not saying you wait until than, but if you did there’s a pretty decent chance you can get a starter out of that acquisition option.
Sternberger should learn to block over time. He’s not uninterested. He just needs to build his body mass up a bit. He’s built more for the basketball court than the gridiron. However, you don’t draft Sternberger to block. You draft him to run crisp routes and be a sure handed receiving option at the Bears U tight end spot. Sure, Burton is under contract to be that guy but why limit yourself to just one? Besides, Burton brought enough concern with his inconsistency game to game and his late season anxiety issues which likely is why he did not play in the Eagles playoff game. The biggest game.
Sternberger may not be the fastest guy, but as you can see he’s plenty fast enough, and has very good agility. He ran a sub 7.2 3-cone at the combine and a 4.31 short shuttle showing his short area burst. It’s those qualities that help him be such a good route runner. He also has good contact balance which will produce plenty of YAC at the next level. He’s got strong sure hands too which will make him a reliable option on 3rd downs as a possession receiver.
His production is not something that can be overlooked either. Especially going up against SEC defenses on a regular. As a matter of fact, he got the respect of the SEC coaches as he was named first team all-conference putting up 48 receptions for 832 yards and 10 touchdowns in 13 games. A pretty good accomplishment as he beat out Alabama’s Irv Smith for the honor.
On this play, you see Sternberger’s value as a seam buster and than the YAC ability as he literally drags a defender for about 27 yards or so after contact.
Here, you see Sternberger’s concentration as he hauls in a pass in between two defenders and than his ability to gain yards after contact.
On this play, Sternberger runs a slant and gains even more YAC as defenders bounce right off of his frame.
On this play, he simply separates from the defense up the sidelines after a misdirection route and makes a big play.
In this GIF you see Sternberger’s ability to high point the pass in traffic.
Here you see Sternberger beat a very good Alabama defense up the seam with no one around him for six.
On this play Sternberger acts as a blocker on the play action roll out and than flares out to get the short pass and take it up the sideline finishing with a thud on the tackle attempt knocking off the helmet of the defender in the process.
On both these plays you can see his ability to give the Quarterback a nice easy throw right up the gut yet still get big time results out of it.
In closing, Sternberger would be a great value pick as it would add to Trubisky’s growing arsenal of weapons and help take this offense to the next level. Sternberger fits in with the culture the Bears have created and he also fits the profile as an intelligent hard working player with dynamic ability to make plays as a pass catcher. Sternberger just recently had a visit here with the Bears this past week so there is some confirmed interest. Don’t be at all surprised to see him here in Chicago after the 87th pick in the draft is made.