Vikings

Vikings Add WR Tajae Sharpe to Improve Receiving Depth

Photo Credit: Jim Brown (USA Today Sports)

The Minnesota Vikings took the first step in filling the void left by traded receiver Stefon Diggs, signing former Titans wideout Tajae Sharpe to a one-year deal, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

It’s unlikely the Vikings are done adding pass catchers with the acquisition of Sharpe, considering they have five picks in the first three rounds of April’s draft. But Sharpe brings experience to a receiver room that lacks seasoning beyond Adam Thielen.

A fifth-round pick in 2016 out of Massachusetts, Sharpe had the look of a rising star when he debuted against the Vikings as a rookie, notching seven catches and 76 yards against the tough Minnesota secondary. But the 6-foot-2 receiver never fully realized his potential in Tennessee. Sharpe missed 2017 with a foot injury and did not exceed 329 yards in either of the last two seasons with the Titans. He has 92 catches to go with eight career touchdown catches in 47 professional games.

At age 25, Sharpe has upside. Despite losing opportunities in 2019 to stellar rookie A.J. Brown, Sharpe put together his most efficient season with the snaps he was given. Out of all NFL receivers with 35 targets or more, Sharpe tied for the fifth-best passer rating when targeted (127.0) without recording a drop. He was also effective out of the slot, where the Titans often placed him later in the season.

Sharpe is not, however, a threat after the catch, posting yards after catch totals in the bottom 15 percent of the league each of his three full seasons. He is also not a deep threat, having recorded just four receptions of 20 yards or more the last two seasons.

Joining an offense with Kirk Cousins, Dalvin Cook, Kyle Rudolph and Thielen could benefit Sharpe, who wasn’t surrounded by as much talent in Tennessee. But on the surface, the Vikings would be unwise to assume Sharpe is the solution to life without Diggs.

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Photo Credit: Jim Brown (USA Today Sports)

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