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Green Bay picks TE Sternberger, OL Jenkins on Day 2 of draft

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 28: Offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins of Mississippi State speaks to the media during day one of interviews at the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 28, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) COLUMBIA, SC - OCTOBER 13: Jace Sternberger #81 of the Texas A&M Aggies gets past Bryson Allen-Williams #4 of the South Carolina Gamecocks during their game at Williams-Brice Stadium on October 13, 2018 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

NASHVILLE — With their final pick on the second day of the NFL draft, the Green Bay Packers got quarterback Aaron Rodgers a new offensive weapon: Texas A&M tight end Jace Sternberger.

The Packers took Sternberger with their third-round pick (No. 75 overall) Friday night after spending their two first-round picks on defense and adding Mississippi State offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins in the second round.

The Packers took Sternberger with their third-round pick (No. 75 overall) Friday night after spending their two first-round picks on defense and adding Mississippi State offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins in the second round.

The 6-foot-4, 251-pound Sternberger, who’ll turn 23 in June, was late to develop in college, starting his career at Kansas before leaving the Jayhawks after and landing at a junior college before moving on to Texas A&M, where he caught 48 passes for 832 yards (17.3 yards per catch) and 10 touchdowns.

Sternberger was the sixth tight end taken, but Packers co-director of player personnel Jon-Eric Sullivan made it clear that the Packers were high on him and that they didn’t rank Sternberger far lower than Iowa tight ends T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant, both of whom went in the first round.

“We felt like he was comparable with the better tight ends in this class,” Sullivan said.

Sternberger joins a tight end room with two veteran tight ends – Jimmy Graham and Marcedes Lewis – at the forefront, and while he’ll have a chance to play, the Packers don’t see the need to rush him onto the field.

“I don’t think there’s pressure for him to come in here and be Superman,” Sullivan said. “But we definitely think he has the skill set to do that if needed.

The earlier pick (No. 44 overall) was used on Jenkins, who started Mississippi State’s last 26 games at center over the past two seasons but played all five spots on the offensive line during his career. He is expected to start at guard in Green Bay

The Packers were in the market for offensive line help, and they have an immediate opening in the starting lineup at right guard. Veteran right tackle Bryan Bulaga is also entering the final year of his contract, but Packers college scout Charles Walls said the team picked Jenkins as a guard.

“We took him as a guard, but you watch the tape, you feel comfortable putting him anywhere you need him to be,” Packers college scout Charles Walls said. “Definitely a light bulb goes off when a guy with that much value, that much versatility falls to you.”

The 6-foot-4, 310-pound Jenkins, who turns 24 in December, grew up in Clarksdale, Mississippi, and was a three-star recruit coming out of high school. He redshirted his first year at Mississippi State, then played in eight games in his first two active seasons — six at left tackle and two at left guard. He moved to center as a junior in 2017 and started every one of the Bulldogs’ games there after that.

“I feel like I can play all positions,” Jenkins said. “Right now, they’re looking at me at guard. But I feel like I can play all the positions on the line.”

New Packers quarterbacks coach Luke Getsy was Mississippi State’s offensive coordinator last season.

On Thursday, the Packers selected pass rush specialist Rashan Gary from Michigan (No. 12 overall) and speedy safety Darnell Savage from Maryland (No 21).

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