By Pasha Hashemzadeh
The Tennessee Titans drafted WR Tajae Sharpe in the 5th round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He is largely unknown because he played for the University of Massachusetts (my alma mater), a lowly football school. As a senior in 2015, Sharpe broke UMass records for career receptions and receiving yards. He finished that season with 111 catches for 1319 yards and 5 TDs. He is a monster of a man at 6’3” and he is a multi-threat receiver, as he can man the slot and succeed in running intermediate and deep routes. His major strength comes in the form of his footwork, as he is a precise route runner with plus athleticism who often creates separation from defenders. His college coach, Mark Whipple, is a former NFL head coach and raised Sharpe’s IQ while he was at UMass. Sharpe’s main weakness is his slim frame, as he weighed in at 188 pounds. He will look to put on muscle this offseason in order to have the mass to go up and fight for 50/50 balls in the NFL. He is not great at breaking tackles either, something that will be indicated in his run after catch stats. Sharpe has been ahead of second year man Dorial Green-Beckham this offseason and has had a lot of run with the first team offense. He projects to enter training camp with the first team unit, starting opposite veteran Kendall Wright. This is a young Titans offense and the receiver spots are essentially up for grabs. If Sharpe continues his offseason dominance and builds a strong rapport with QB Marcus Mariota in camp and preseason, he could find himself starting in NFL games this year. He’s a bright kid whose head is seemingly in the game, unlike DGB. The hope is for Sharpe to establish himself as a threat in this league and mirror or exceed what another former UMass man Victor Cruz has done since he came into the league. Sharpe is an excellent late round snag in all leagues given his upside and the openings at receiver in Tennessee.