Dallas Cowboys: 2019 NFL Combine Saturday Standouts

IOWA CITY, IOWA- OCTOBER 20: Tight end Noah Fant #87 of the Iowa Hawkeyes runs up the field during the second half in front of defensive back Darnell Savage #4 of the Maryland Terrapins on October 20, 2018 at Kinnick Stadium, in Iowa City, Iowa. (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)
IOWA CITY, IOWA- OCTOBER 20: Tight end Noah Fant #87 of the Iowa Hawkeyes runs up the field during the second half in front of defensive back Darnell Savage #4 of the Maryland Terrapins on October 20, 2018 at Kinnick Stadium, in Iowa City, Iowa. (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images) /
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COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS – NOVEMBER 24: Jace Sternberger #81 of the Texas A&M Aggies runs past Jacob Phillips #6 of the LSU Tigers after a catch during the second quarter at Kyle Field on November 24, 2018 in College Station, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS – NOVEMBER 24: Jace Sternberger #81 of the Texas A&M Aggies runs past Jacob Phillips #6 of the LSU Tigers after a catch during the second quarter at Kyle Field on November 24, 2018 in College Station, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

Jace Sternberger, Texas A&M, Tight End

Sternberger didn’t do anything special today, for that reason he stands out. People who’ve paid attention to Sternberger know that the team that drafts him will have to use him as a receiver. For that reason, we would’ve hoped he performed better in his speed and agility drills. His numbers were:

40 Yard Dash: 4.75 seconds

Vertical Jump: 31.5 inches

Broad Jump: 9’5″ 

3 Cone Drill: 7.19 seconds

20 yard shuttle: 4.31 seconds

Sternberger’s numbers were average to below average across the board. For a tight end primarily used as a receiver, his lack of athleticism definitely lowers his ceiling. In college, he could beat zones effectively and he could break tackles with his strength. However, questions surrounding his burst and route running existed when facing man coverage. It seems there is a correlation between those concerns and his numbers.

For tight ends coming to NFL used specifically as receivers, they usually showcase some athleticism which can cover up some of their flaws as route runners. Fant could be an example of this. But even with the athleticism, that doesn’t necessarily breed success.

Sternberger is going to have to develop into a fantastic route runner in order to get separation at the next level. In addition, his lack of speed will mean he can’t be used as deep because it takes longer for him to get deep. There is no question he can catch the ball, but he must get open in order to do that.

The combine should lower his value because he was a one-dimensional threat coming out of college and seeing his athleticism hinder his forte, it should cause teams to question his overall value. He might not fall as much as Nauta, but there will be less hype surrounding the Aggie. A one dimensional threat with average athleticism doesn’t necessarily generate hype especially if the tight end isn’t a polished route runner.