Prediction: Packers tight end Jace Sternberger will have over 700 yards receiving in 2020.
The Packers’ decision to release Jimmy Graham earlier this offseason highlights their confidence in the young tight end, who could enter the season as a starter.
So, how many yards will Sternberger finish on in his second year?
Breakout season for Sternberger?
As the Packers’ best pass-catching tight end, there will be plenty of opportunities for Sternberger to make an impact this season.
An injury last summer made Sternberger’s rookie season all the more challenging. It’s difficult enough for first-year tight ends to make a significant impact, as first-round picks T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant showed. But after missing the first half of the season due to injury, it was never going to easy to be a difference-maker late on.
Sternberger did, however, show potential. Even though he didn’t make a catch in the six regular season games he played, Sternberger was wide open on more than one occasion and could’ve picked up a big gain had Aaron Rodgers thrown his way.
The hard work began to pay off in the playoffs when Sternberger was targeted three times. He caught all three of them for 15 yards and his first career touchdown in the NFC title game defeat to the San Francisco 49ers.
A small sample size, perhaps, but also a potential sign of what’s to come.
Sternberger earned valuable reps in the second half of the season and in the playoffs, and we started to see some of his potential down the stretch. Fully healthy, Sternberger can make a much bigger impact in his second season.
With Graham gone and the Packers in need of more consistency from their pass catchers, Sternberger could help fix that. Green Bay didn’t hand big money to a free-agent receiver or tight end and then didn’t draft a wide receiver.
The opportunity will be there for Sternberger to have a breakout season. I predict he’ll put up around 700 yards and four touchdowns in year two, solidifying his spot as Green Bay’s starting tight end.