Split End ~ Tajae Sharpe ~ Massachusetts
Minutemen ~ 6020/195
Split Ends are usually the bigger, taller WideOuts who line up in the X Position, on the Line of Scrimmage.
SlotBacks are usually the quicker, smaller WideOuts who line up at the Y Position, off the Line.
FlankerBacks are usually the faster WideOuts who line up at the Z Position, off the Line.
The Split End prototype would be about 6030/225 or so.
The Flanker prototype would be about 6000/200 or so.
The SlotBack prototype would be about 5010/195 or so.
However a given Coach chooses to deploy the Soldiers at his disposal is of course entirely up to him, and most WideOuts will see Snaps at multiple Positions and in multiple Alignments, but I believe that it is valuable to categorize WideOuts in terms of classic Skill Sets, to better define the differences in the kind of Impact they might wield at the next level.
This is how I break things down when I'm evaluating Split Ends, Flankers, and SlotBacks:
Separation: Getting Open. This encompasses Combat Skills & Fluidity to beat Press, Acceleration out'f the Blocks, Fluidity and Ricochet in navigating Traffic, Route Running Precision, the capacity to deceive Defenders, and Field Vision for Timing Seems and Open Zones. All other Aspects of a WideOut's Job Description are dwarfed by this one.
Catch Point Capacity: In Transit or Contested: Hands, WingSpan, Vertical Agility, Combat Skills, and Timing.
Yards After Catch are well and fine, but it seems to me that 90% of the Value of a Flex End and any WideOut is getting open and catching the Ball. Anyone who's read my Work extensively knows that I consider Blocking to be the Heart & Soul of FootBall, but that is a philosophical position, and I recognize that with most Philosophies, where it comes to Wide Receivers and Flex Ends...it's just Gravy. And so is Yards After Catch: Moving The Chains is What Wins.
Broken down into SubCategories, it'd go something like this:
* Combat Skills
* Field Vision
Catch Point Capacity
Catch Point Capacity
* Combat Skills
* Vertical Agility
Catch Point Capacity: Tremendous. Despite horrifyingly small Hands, Sharpe has outstanding Timing & Tracking skills ~ a component of Field Vision that he's clearly worked hard to develop over the Years ~ and has leveraged them, along with exceptional Combat Skills and terrific Hands ~ yes!! terrific Hands ~ to develop into a CatchPoint Force.
Despite mediocre Core Power, Speed, and Ricochet ~ "burst out'f'is Breaks", to you Earthlings!! ~ and despite a moderate WingSpan and hands the size of which would shame a Lilliputian, Tajae Sharpe has leveraged his Fluidity, his Intelligence, and a few scraps of Talent, and developed exceptional Separation Skills and tremendous CatchPoint Capacity.
Based on his Talent, alone, Sharpe is easily an Auxiliary level Prospect ~ 6th/7th Round Grade.
And as a rabid Proponent of Attacking Offenses, I'm the last guy to suggest that the capacity to "tear the top off a Defense" in and of itself isn't valuable: The guys that can fly DownField and present an effective Threat create space underneath for their Mates and also create room for the Running Game. That is an invaluable tactical Advantage, and Sharpe's not presenting such a Threat unquestionably adversely affects his Value to a Team's Offensive Strategy.
By and large, though, I believe that the best way to build an Offense is to focus on Players whose SkillSets are more acclimated towards consistently and effectively Moving The Chains. I believe that there are a few crucial reasons why those guys who can "tear the top off" don't often celebrate Championships despite their personal achievements, but the biggest one, I believe, is that their Offenses all too often tend to get caught up with Big Plays, because while Big Plays as an occasional Bonus are swell, Offenses that lose their focus on Moving The Chains tend to fall short in the PlayOffs.
Tajae Sharpe doesn't dazzle, but he is remarkably well equipped to consistently help his Team Move The Chains.
He is a exceptional and improving at Getting Open, and he is outstandingly reliable at The Catch Point.
He is a classic Favorite of mine, the Low Ceiling/High Floor kind of Prospect, and this is so because, like many such Prospects, he has worked his Ass off, developed his exceptional Intelligence into a razor-sharp Tactical Weapon, and thus transformed a few scraps of Talent ~ a 6th/7th Round level Talent ~ into a remarkable Prospect.
Trajectory: Talent x Intelligence x Drive = Potential/Risk, baby!!
And as an added Bonus, he is, I believe, one of the most Game Ready WideOuts in this Class: Instant Impact!!
Grateful Thanks, as always, for the crucial Work done by the folks at Draft BreakDown!!
None of this is even remotely a Complaint, mind you, but rather a Warning!! Caveat Emptor!!