The New England Patriots will enter next month's 2019 NFL Draft with tight end being among their top areas of need, and they will get a close look at one of the top players at the position a few weeks before the first round begins.
The Patriots will meet with Texas A&M tight end Jace Sternberger on April 7, per NFL Draft Insider's Jared Tokarz.
NBC Sports Boston's Phil Perry reported earlier this month the Patriots met or planned to meet with several of the top tight ends in this draft at the NFL Scouting Combine, and that group included Sternberger.
The top three tight ends in the 2019 class are Iowa's T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant, plus Alabama's Irv Smith. Hockenson likely will be off the board, and perhaps Fant, too, when the Patriots pick at the end of Round 1 with No. 32 overall. Smith probably would be available, and Sternberger, barring something surprising, almost certainly would be there.
Sternberger tallied 48 receptions for 832 yards and 10 touchdowns in 13 games for the Aggies last season. Texas A&M had a 6-1 record when he caught a touchdown.
The offseason departures of veterans Rob Gronkowski (retirement) and Dwayne Allen (released) have left the Patriots thin at tight end, so it's expected they'll pursue a few players at this position with their six picks in the first three rounds of the draft. New England currently has 12 picks overall.
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