Three other names to watch
While Iowa’s Noah Fant is obviously another possibility at the tight end position, the following three names are players the New England Patriots could target in the later rounds of the draft.
Isaac Nauta, Georgia – With the Patriots current track record of drafting players out of the University of Georgia, tight end Isaac Nauta is a name to watch at the tight end position.
At 6-foot-4, 240 pounds, the 21-year-old Nauta has the ability to catch passes, but like Sternberger could use some work with his blocking skills. Certainly, a tight end the Patriots will look at in the later rounds.
Tommy Sweeney, Boston College – The local product is less of a pass catcher and more of a blocker. As more of a blue-collar player, the 6-foot-5, 253-pound tight end has the kind of toughness and “do your job” type mentality the New England Patriots love in a player.
Although he does have good hands, Sweeney is not a tight end that will play much of a role in the passing game unless its around the goal line. His physicality and football IQ make him a name to watch in rounds 6-7.
Kaden Smith, Stanford – A Mackey Award finalist, Stanford product Kaden Smith is a tight end the New England Patriots could consider in the later rounds.
At 6-foot-5, 255 pounds, he has above average NFL tight end size and is more of a physical pass catcher. Don’t expect him to blow away from anyone, but he is versatile enough as an athlete to block and run routes.
In entering the NFL Draft a year early, Kaden Smith is another tight end in this draft with room for growth.