Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Former UMass wide receiver Tajae Sharpe selected in fifth round of 2016 NFL Draft

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Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian)

Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian)

Tajae Sharpe’s lifelong dream of becoming an NFL player became a reality Saturday afternoon.

The former Massachusetts wide receiver was selected with the first pick of the fifth round (140th overall) of the 2016 NFL draft by the Tennessee Titans.

Sharpe led the Football Bowl Subdivision last season with 111 receptions and 9.3 receptions per game and finished his career first in program history with 277 receptions and 3,486 receiving yards. His 16 touchdowns are third all time in Minutemen history.

The 6-foot-2, 194-pound Piscataway, New Jersey native is the 25th player in UMass history to be drafted in either the NFL or AFL, with the most recent being former tight end Rob Blanchflower, who was selected in the seventh round by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2014.

Sharpe joins a Titans wide receiver group consisting of Kendall Wright, Harry Douglas, Dorial Green-Beckham and Justin Hunter. Last year’s No. 2 overall pick and former Heisman trophy winner Marcus Mariota enters his second year at quarterback.

The Titans drafted Sharpe with their fifth pick in this year’s draft, also taking Michigan State offensive tackle Jack Conklin (eighth overall), Clemson linebacker Kevin Dodd (33rd), Penn State defensive tackle Austin Johnson (43rd) and Alabama running back Derrick Henry (45th).

Andrew Cyr can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @Andrew_Cyr.

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