NASHVILLE, Tenn. — With the No. 75 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers selected tight end Jace Sternberger out of Texas A&M.
"We always try to take the best player available, that's just philosophically what we believe in, and he was the best player available," said Packers co-director of player personnel Jon-Eric Sullivan.
The Packers even hosted Sternberger for an official visit before the draft.
"Immediately from the get go once I got to Green Bay, I felt this family atmosphere," said Sternberger via phone.
As a consensus All-American, Sternberger appeared in all 12 games, catching 48 passes, 832 yards (17.3 yards per catch) and 10 touchdowns in his lone season at Texas A&M.
"He had an outstanding year there," said Packers general manager Gutekunst.
The 6-foot-4, 251 pounder started his college career as a wide reciever at the University of Kansas then transferred to Northeastern Oklahoma as a redshirt freshman in 2016.
"He was a late bloomer," said Sullivan. "He kind of burst on the scene this year."
The Packers said they were impressed with his skill set in terms of footwork, body control and ball handling.
"He's a well rounded football player," said Sullivan. "He's competitive and he'll do whatever you ask him to do."
The Packers said they're not expecting Sternberger to hop in and contribute right away, but they see his long term potential.
"I don't think there's pressure for him coming here to be superman," said Sullivan. "I think we throw him in that room and let him grow."
"We're excited to get him in with the group that we got and see what he can do," said Gutekunst.
Sternberger will join veteran tight ends Jimmy Graham and Marcedes Lewis, who he said are two great role models.
"What better opportunity could you have," said Sternberger. "I'm just trying to get in and learn everything I can from them."
As for how he feels about the opportunity to block for number 12, he said he feels blessed.
"If you were to tell me Aaron Rodgers was going to be my quarterback four years ago, I would have laughed at you and called you a liar," said Sternberger.
Although Sternberger admits he has his work cut out for him, the Packers have full faith in the young tight end.
"I have a big chip on my shoulder," said Sternberger. "I want to take on the challenge head on. That's what I plan to do here and just to prove to Green Bay they made the right pick."