Falcons 2016 NFL Draft sleeper: WR Tajae Sharpe
By Curtis Hobbs
The Atlanta Falcons need to find a second wide receiver to pair with Julio Jones. A potential draft sleeper is Tajae Sharpe out of UMass.
When looking at the 2016 NFL Draft for the Atlanta Falcons, there are a few areas that must be addressed sooner rather than later. And, like every other team, the Falcons are looking to make the right selections because, at this point, jobs are at stake with each and every decision. And for Thomas Dimitroff and company, they must address the second wide receiver position as quickly as possible.
When looking for an answer, sure, there will be the enticing, high-end selection of a receiver like Laquon Treadwell who still leads this. but there are a couple of receivers from smaller schools that look equally as enticing, and none more impressive than the UMass receiver, Tajae Sharpe. In fact, the more and more that I watch tape of Sharpe the more I’ve gone past the reach for Treadwell in the first round and address that linebacker concern in the first round.
Coming from UMass, it’ll be easy to overlook a receiver from such a small school. But, if wasn’t that long ago that another receiver burst onto the scene and became a household name from the Amherst, Massachusetts campus in Victor Cruz, and, before injury, Cruz was a deadly weapon for the New York Giants offense. And if Sharpe can be anything like the one who went before him, the Falcons will be in great shape at the second receiver position.
More from Blogging Dirty
- Atlanta Falcons are the perfect fit for Leonard Floyd
- 3 Largest Atlanta Falcons 2023 dead cap hits
- Atlanta Falcons trade up for a quarterback in this full mock draft
- Atlanta Falcons: 3 trade packages to land first-overall pick
- 3 Reasons the Atlanta Falcons shouldn’t fear Derek Carr and the Saints
Sharpe is a big, explosive, and smart route runner. Though he has taken the top off the defense many time, albeit not against marquee programs, he has enough speed to where the defense must respect his ability to stretch the field. And at 6-foot-3, the powerful receiver would be difficult to match up against.
Critics and pundits say that Sharpe’s hands are too small to compete on the big stage, and, though they may eliminate him from making catches that have been made famous by Odell Beckham Jr., this same receiver has been leading the nation in receiving yards more than once in his career. And, if he can catch the ball as he did in college, there should be nothing that stands in the way for him at the next level with his ability to catch the ball.
There is a good chance that the Falcons can wait until the fourth or fifth round to take Sharpe, and just as they waited for Hardy last year, Atlanta could very well be forming a pattern in getting good receivers in the middle rounds, And, if that’s the case, his strength and quickness will be what could make him a prime target.
Next: Atlanta Falcons: Five first round options for 2016 draft
The only flaw that I can see is his footwork in his cuts leave him a little flatfooted at times, but with some better workouts, the Falcons can definitely afford to take a chance on Tajae Sharpe, and, as I continue to fall in love with what I see on his film, it will be worth it to see the new piece of what the Falcons hope to become a deadly arsenal at receiver.