Tajae Sharpe may end up being the best value pick of the 2016 NFL Draft. Sharpe was selected by the Tennessee Titans with the first pick of the 5th round, No. 140 overall, out of Massachusetts. The rookie wide receiver is already making an impact in Tennessee’s offense.
Sharpe was targeted 11 times by quarterback Marcus Mariota in Sunday’s loss to the Minnesota Vikings. The receiver hauled in seven of those passes for 76 yards.
Sharpe was far-and-away the best receiver for the Titans in their first game of the season. What makes the rookie so special?
He has great hands.
According to Pro Football Focus, Sharpe dropped only seven of 204 catchable passes in his last two years at the University of Massachusetts. He actually led the nation in catches last year, with 111.
In addition to reliable hands, Sharpe has decent size. He is 6-2, 194 pounds and looks to develop into a very good possession receiver. Sharpe ran a 4.55 sec 40-yard-dash at the combine, so he doesn’t necessarily have explosive breakaway speed.
Sharpe slipped in the draft mostly due to the weak competition he faced in college. Had he gone to a bigger school, I imagine he’d have gone in the 2nd-3rd round range.
As Mariota continues to develop, Sharpe will as well. He is the type of receiver that quarterback’s love to rely on in the middle of the field. Mariota sometimes get criticized for his vertical throwing ability, so he and Sharpe should own the middle of defenses for years to come.
Tajae Sharpe is certainly a player who is on the way up the NFL ranks.