With the draft only one month away, preparations are entering crunch time. One sign for that is a club holding its first top-30 visits — private workouts of which a team can have up to 30 every draft cycle. The New England Patriots have apparently already started scheduling theirs: according to Draft Insider’s Jared Tokarz, they will hold top-30 meetings with Texas A&M’s Jace Sternberger and Miles Boykin out of Notre Dame.
Sternberger is one of the top tight ends to enter this year’s draft. While he is a bit undersized at 6’4, 250 lbs, he has some solid passing game production on his résumé: he finished the 2018 season — his first at Texas A&M — with 48 catches for 832 yards and 10 touchdowns. Furthermore, he is a willing albeit not perfect blocker that needs to add to his frame to become consistently competitive at the next level.
But even though he lacks the upside of a T.J. Hockenson or a Noah Fant, Sternberger has plenty of potential and possible value as a likely second-round pick. As such, he will hear his name called earlier than Boykin: he Notre Dame product is expected to become a day three selection — despite finishing his senior year with 59 receptions for 872 yards and 8 scores, and even though he put up a spectacular performance at the scouting combine.
Boykin posted the fastest 3-cone time and best vertical jump, ranked second at the broad jump and ninth in the 40-yard dash. The question, however, will be why his athletic skills have not quite found their way onto the field during his college career and what this means for his development at the next level. Early on during his career, the 6’4, 220 lbs receiver will work probably work best as a rotational receiver and against zone and off-man schemes.
Seeing both Sternberger and Boykin work out with the Patriots on top-30 visits is not necessarily a sign of the club’s immediate interest in drafting for them, though. Oftentimes, New England simply uses the workouts as a chance to get more information on a player and to expand its files. That being said, the two offensive skill position players would both be intriguing additions to New England’s offense considering their potential.