Texas A&M football: Should Jace Sternberger enter 2019 NFL Draft?

(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

Texas A&M football used the tight end way more in 2018, and Jace Sternberger was named a consensus All American, but should he enter the 2019 NFL Draft?

If you knew one thing about Jimbo Fisher’s tenure as the head coach of Texas A&M football, you knew he would use the tight end more than the man who preceded him. It was comical how little the position was used under Kevin Sumlin, especially when he continued to recruit the position every year.

Fisher not only features tight ends in his offense, he also ran double tight end formations about as much as any offense in the country in his time at Florida State. So when he got Jace Sternberger to join from the JUCO ranks, there was potential for a big season from the speedy former Kansas Jayhawk.

Not sure anyone outside of Jace and the coaching staff could have expected the monster season he put up. It’s a crime he wasn’t even a finalist for the Mackey Award for best tight end. He had better numbers than all three guys. However, the All American voters noticed, and he was named a 2018 consensus All American for his efforts.

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Sternberger led the Aggies in catches, yards, touchdowns, and yards per reception. He was easily the best weapon in Kellen Mond’s arsenal. He had 47 receptions for 804 yards and 10 touchdowns on the season. Those yards and touchdowns were both No. 1 among all tight ends.

He has one more year of eligibility remaining, but will he use it? It would seem the answer is an easy one. You’d be hard pressed to believe he could accomplish more in one season. His NFL stock may not have anywhere to go but down.

But do teams trust his ability as a blocker yet? That’s something he will figure out if he has his draft prospects evaluated. He certainly shows a willingness and toughness as a blocker and NFL teams will like that, though it could prevent him from being drafted in the first round like South Carolina’s Hayden Hurst was in 2018.

Hurst didn’t have the receiving numbers (48-616-1) Jace did, but was definitely an all-around stud as a receiver and blocker. However, Evan Engram was taken in the first round in 2017, so blocking might not be much of a hinderance.

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The short answer to whether or not Jace Sternberger should enter the draft is probably yes. The SEC’s leading tight end has been taken in the first round two years running, and Jace put up comparable numbers to both. He’s at worst a day two selection right now.

Jeff Shull is the Site Expert for the Gig Em Gazette on FanSided. Follow him on Twitter, and be sure to follow the Gig Em Gazette on Facebook and Twitter.