The Oakland Raiders addressed their need on the offensive line in the 4th round, though they skipped over some interesting linebackers to do so. They selected David Sharpe, a behemoth Florida offensive lineman, with the 129th overall pick in the draft, a pick that garnered a collective “meh” in the post draft grades. Seriously, this guy is huge though weighing in at 343lbs on a 6'6 frame.
Coming out of high school David Sharpe had the pick of the litter for schools he could attend, and he even had a choice to make about whether it was going to be football or basketball that he played. He chose Florida over schools like Florida State and Clemson and had a productive career in the SEC. Considering Sharpe's incredible size now there should be little doubt that football was a good choice for him.
Oddly enough for a player who was a star basketball player before fully committing to football, a knock on him is that his feet aren't quick enough and that he bends at the waist. Those are not problems you would expect from a basketball player. His size and strength make up a lot of ground, but he is going to need to improve his flexibility and agility if he is going to be playing on the outside in the NFL.
The biggest concern about David Sharpe was about how good of vision he had in his right eye. He had cataract surgery in his youth that left his eye “a little blurry” but pre-draft reports took that much further when they claimed that he was blind in that eye. He quickly verified to Raider Nation that his eye was not blind and says that it doesn't hurt his play on the field.
Arm Length: 35 3/8”
Hand Size: 10”
40-yard dash: 5.44
Started 26 of 27 games at left tackle for SEC Florida Gators over the last two years.
No college awards, though was a 2014 U.S. Army All-American Bowl selection and named to the MaxPreps All-America First Team coming out of high school.
David Sharpe's size and length gives opposing players fits if they try to overpower or bull rush him. He wins the point of attack if he gets his hands on the player and if he gets his timing right he is a load off the line. Uses his hands well to fight off defenders, though at times punches too high which NFL players will shed on the next level.
Uses his size to his advantage with a deep kick back to widen the pass rush from outside rushers. That combined with his huge frame makes it a long way around for speed rushers, though he struggled with them at times last season in the stacked SEC. Broad shoulders allow him to carry his large weight extremely well and has terrific upper body strength. Only 21 years old after leaving Florida as a Junior.
Sharpe needs to improve his foot quickness and flexibility before he can be trusted as a true contributor at tackle in the NFL. He knows he has trouble with speed which he compensates for by over setting to the outside, leaving him vulnerable to inside pass rush moves and spin moves which he will see much more often in the NFL. Has a tendency to reach with his long arms when beaten which will cause holding calls at the next level, which is another problem with his struggles against speed rushers.
David Sharpe also bends at the waist too often instead of the knees which leaves him playing too high and causes him to lose leverage that he should have with his large frame. This also leads to his hand fighting being too high which defenders shed easier. Needs to improve on moving onto secondary targets, especially in the run game where he lowers his head and loses balance too often.
What he brings to the Raiders:
The Raiders are betting on Sharpe's huge body and strength to overcome some of his lateral ability struggles. He will likely be a utility offensive linemen for them who will be used in both guard and tackle positions, and he says he can play on either side of the line as well.
Where the Raiders really need him will be at right tackle though as they have far more depth with their inside players than they do with their outside players. They did add Marshall Newhouse through free agency to compete with Austin Howard for the RT position, but there could be an opportunity there for Sharpe if he exceeds expectations early on or if Howard is unable to stay healthy.
Many pundits had expected a move to guard from Sharpe because of his lacking foot quickness and body control but he is listed as a tackle on the Raiders roster. Oakland's coaching staff surely will do everything they can to improve his mobility and balance in order to maximize Sharpe's natural gifts and gigantic size. If he is going to play on the outside in the NFL he has a lot of work to do, but he couldn't have been put into a better position considering the Raiders excellent coaching staff and elite offensive line.