Tight end (4, 19/53)
- Jace Sternberger
- Marcedes Lewis
- Robert Tonyan
- Josiah Deguara
The departure of Jimmy Graham means that the starting tight end spot is Jace Sternberger’s to lose. A third-round pick a year ago, Sternberger has the talent to take over as a pass-catching tight end. If he can take a big step forward this season, his receiving ability will help address some of the concerns at wide receiver.
NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah predicted Sternberger will have a “huge year” on the “Move the Sticks” podcast.
Expectations for Sternberger can’t be based on his rookie season. It’s difficult for tight ends to make a big impact in year one, not to mention the fact he missed valuable time early on due to an injury he suffered in the summer. Sternberger didn’t play in the first half of the regular season.
Marcedes Lewis’ main job will be to help run block but he can also make a difference as a receiver. This is the year for Robert Tonyan to make the jump. He also missed time due to injury last season.
Rookie Josiah Deguara brings some versatility to this offense. He could be used in the H-back role early on. He’ll be a player to watch and it’ll be interesting to see how LaFleur plans to use him.