After taking three defenders in the 2017 draft, the Raiders made offensive tackle David Sharpe their first selection on the offensive side of the ball in the fourth round.
The 6-6, 343-pounder started every game at left tackle for the Florida Gators the past two seasons, but he joins a team with a left tackle already in place -- Donald Penn.
What they don’t have is a sure starter at right tackle and that’s where Sharpe says the Raiders have him pegged, at least for now. He told Sirius XM NFL radio that’s where he sees his best chance to play right now.
#Raiders OT David Sharpe: Right now I'm playing Right Tackle..that's where they want me & that's where I have a great chance to play at— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) May 21, 2017
The right tackle spot is up for grabs mostly because Menelik Watson was unable to stay healthy over four seasons with the team and was allowed to leave in free agency.
If Sharpe is to land the right tackle job, he will have to outplay former starter Austin Howard and free agent addition, Marshall Newhouse. Second year man, Vadal Alexander is in the mix as well.
For rookie minicamp, Sharpe played both sides of the line, often seeing time at left tackle while fellow rookie 7th round pick tackle Jylan Ware lined up on the right side. Sharpe said at that time that bouncing back and forth is not an issue for him.
“It’s not very hard,” Sharpe said of switching to right tackle. “I played a little bit of both at Florida in practice and things like that so I’m used to it. Just switch up the feet a little bit, different movements. It’s not that bad.”
Should Sharpe not win the right tackle job, he would be an ideal reserve swing tackle option due to his experience at left tackle.
This is the final year of Donald Penn’s contract and at the age of 35 this time next year, it could be his final NFL season. Should the Raiders and Penn’s time end after this season, Sharpe would then be a candidate to take over at left tackle where he has the most experience.