The RotoViz WR Prospect Sweet 16 Tournament matches the top incoming prospects in a head-to-head March Madness style format. Various RotoViz writers break down each match-up with the winner moving on to the next round.
(5) Will Fuller vs (12) Tajae Sharpe
Will Fuller comes into this match-up as the fastest wide receiver at the combine. He is the premier deep threat in this draft. With a MSRecYds of 0.37, Fuller carried Notre Dame’s passing offense. Fuller was able to produce more than a touchdown per game in 2015, which shows that he can be more than just a one trick pony.
Tajae Sharpe has been on the RotoViz radar for some time now, thanks to the great work by Jon Moore. He has been among the best age-adjusted producers in college football over the last few years. Known for his sure hands, it worried some scouts when Sharpe measured in with some of the smallest hands at the combine among WRs. Will Sharpe’s production be enough to get him past the premier speedster in this draft?
Anthony Amico – Will Fuller: Fuller is one of the elite deep threats in this draft class, and he proved it at the combine when he ran a 4.32 forty yard dash. He also recorded a dominator rating over 0.4 in each of his final two collegiate seasons. Meanwhile, while Sharpe was incredibly productive at UMass, he hit the trifecta of being under 200 pounds, slow, and not explosive at the combine. I like Fuller to move on here.
Mathew Freedman – Will Fuller: With his speed and type of production (all receiving, no rushing or returning), Fuller is basically a bigger, faster Paul Richardson. For the small-and-fast receivers, I actually prefer guys who exhibit more versatility in college, but Fuller still has the production and athletic profile to make him a player I want on my teams.
Scott Smith – Tajae Sharpe: Fuller has produced solidly at Notre Dame which shouldn’t be overlooked. What does concern me is the lack of versatility that I have seen in his game. I don’t see a DeSean Jackson or Emmanuel Sanders type player. Fuller could be relegated to a deep threat role a la Devery Henderson. I am a big proponent of the work that Jon Moore does and Sharpe has been on the radar for a while now. His age-adjusted production makes me think he will succeed in the NFL. It’s hard to argue against Sharpe’s production in this matchup. Fuller may have a nice career in the NFL but I like Sharpe.
Shawn Siegele – Will Fuller: Fuller is easily better than three of the four guys seeded ahead of him (and also better than Sharpe).
Charles Kleinheksel – Tajae Sharpe: Comps very well to Greg Jennings. Not only has the top Phenom Index score in this class, his score (3.2) is nearly double Fuller’s (1.94).
Jon Moore – Will Fuller: While I really like Sharpe, and have been writing about him for years, this is just a bad spot for him. Despite the height differential, Fuller was actually the far more dominant touchdown scorer. Also, there’s a part of me that is worried that Sharpe ends up having a Marquess Wilson-ish career. This is a reaaaalllly close call, but I’m going Fuller.
Justin Winn – Will Fuller: I like Sharpe. I wish I could pick Sharpe here. I can’t pick Sharpe here. Sharpe has the highest Phenom Index score of any WR in this class. He’ll probably be an ideal third-round pick in rookie drafts if he gets drafted around the fifth round of the NFL Draft. But he might not even go that high. And while his PI score is incredible, Fuller’s is also very good so it’s really not that much of an advantage for Sharpe. Fuller will go no later than the third round of the NFL Draft at worst, and has the speed to match his reputation as a deep threat.
Greg Conejo – Will Fuller: Fuller fits in a successful NFL archetype as a blazer, while Sharpe will struggle to emerge after years of bouncing around practice squads. I really like Sharpe’s youth, early breakout age and consistent age-adjusted performance, but he faces a tall task in getting the necessary targets to display his talent.
Will Fuller moves on to the next round to face Josh Docston after getting all but 2 votes. This match-up may have actually been closer than the final outcome when factoring Tajae Sharpe’s age-adjusted college production into the mix. Fuller, however, was no slouch at Notre Dame and seems to be a favorite of a few analysts here at RotoViz.
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