Sharpe and Rice Have Similar Attributes
Tajae Sharpe has quickly gone from a 5th round, no name draft choice to a virtual lock to start the season…as a starter. With his recent injury and the trading of Dorial Green-Beckham, the thought of the Titans offense without Sharpe began to circle my mind. Not having seen a ton of him from the comfort of California, it was time to take a deeper look. This is what I discovered.
Sharpe College Game Film
In went the game film against Notre Dame and Colorado. He didn’t leap off the page athletically, but his dependability certainly did. He was always in the right spot and caught passes with ease. The kid got deep a few times, made some nice diving catches, didn’t take any plays off and blocked when needed. His overall game is solid. In fact, every time UMASS seemingly needed a play, the ball went his direction.
Sharpe Pre Draft Assessment
Draft experts had him going as high as the third round, but he was drafted pretty close to where the majority had him slated to go – his exceptional production was countered by his less than stellar physical measurables.
Cons: Frame, hands & athleticism.
Pros: Excellent routes, ball skills, work ethic & character.
Buzz: Only dropped 7 of 204 passes over two seasons, had the 4th highest receiving grade of any receiver in the draft per Pro Football Focus and was a Shrine Bowl standout. So much so, that the DBs he faced raved that he was their toughest matchup.
Despite all this, he was mostly projected as “quality depth” in the NFL. The hands? Really? Yes, he has small hands, but doesn’t production (he catches everything) at some point surpass a physical attribute?
“He could be a starter in this league in his second season for a contender…He has consistently been productive and durable in the past two seasons. He can be the type of player to play for a team in the NFL for a long time. The more I talk to him the more I am impressed with his character. He has big-play ability.” – Gil Brandt in 1985 regarding Jerry Rice
Tell the truth…Did you think that quote was about Tajae Sharpe until you read the credit? Be honest.
I know what you are thinking. Linking this young rookie to Jerry Rice is crazy, but Sharpe has always reminded me of the greatest wide receiver in history. I am not saying that he will have the same results, but similar qualities & attributes could provide similar results. Basically, they have a lot in common.
Sharpe & Rice Comparison
6’ 2” Height 6’ 2”
194 Weight 200
4.55 40 Time 4.60
33.5” Vertical 35.0”
85/1281 Jr. Rec/Yds 102/1450
111/1319 Sr. Rec/Yds 112/1845
Sharpe has all of the intangibles (fast learner, productive, work ethic, determination, demeanor, etc.) to be a great pro for the Titan organization who couldn’t care less about the measurables. Doubt that? Take a look at the pro & con lists above and consider whether Green-Beckham was not the exact opposite. Sharpe’s pros are seemingly DGB’s cons and vice versa. See what I mean?
The UMASS QB, in the college game film, exuded a level of comfort & excitement with Sharpe. Mariota must feel the same and Sharpe must be equally excited to have a QB the caliber of Marcus. The classic win-win scenario – An endless cycle of promise, excitement and joy.
What do you think about Sharpe?
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