4. Jace Sternberger
Even though the Packers wisely brought back Jimmy Graham, it was crucial for management to add a young body to the position. While no tight end in NFL history would have succeeded under Mike McCarthy’s offense last year, Graham still looked relatively pedestrian. A 55-catch season is not what the Packers envisioned when they signed him, but a healed thumb and new offensive coaching staff will go along way.
Having said that, Jace Sternberger needs to step up. Not as much for this season, but for the future. The Packers will probably jettison Graham after this coming season, and Marcedes Lewis will be 36.
Unless Robert Tonyan explodes into a star, Sternberger will be the only tight end on the roster heading into the offseason. He was an incredible receiver at Texas A&M, averaging over 17 yards a reception and hauling in 10 touchdowns. His blocking is a huge question mark, but proving his worth as a receiver will once again open up the playbook for LaFleur and the offense.
As Aaron Rodgers ages, the Packers need to be prepared for when his arm strength inevitably begins to give. Having more underneath targets to throw the ball to will be crucial to sustaining his success. As good as Sternberger is as a downfield threat, his intermediate game will go a long way towards moving the chains.