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Raiders countdown to kickoff: 71 is David Sharpe, who wore it best?

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Welcome to July. We are now officially inside the same month training camp starts. As for the start of the regular season, that’s 71 days away. So, as we have done each day since the start of this countdown, we look at the man wearing the corresponding number.

OT David Sharpe

The Raiders fourth round pick was their first non-defensive player of the 2017 draft. The giants 6-6, 343-pounder was the starting left tackle at Florida the past two years. His major question mark was the sight in his right eye, which analysts described as being legally blind. He denies this, saying his sight is merely blurry in that eye due to cataracts having been removed when he was younger.

Those sight concerns led many to believe he could only play the left side, though Sharpe insists that also isn’t true.

Right tackle is a position of great need and uncertainty for the Raiders, so that’ where Sharpe has been lining up primarily of late. Injuries to Austin Howard and Marshall Newhouse has thinned out what figures to an open competition at the position. Therefore Sharpe was lining up as the second team right tackle during minicamp.

Ideally, Sharpe would eventually be able to return to the left side and become the future at left tackle when Donald Penn’s time in Oakland is done, which could be as soon as the 2018 season. But Sharpe’s ability to be the long term answer as Carr’s blindside protector is firmly in the stage of wishful thinking at this point.

Who wore it best: DT Bill Pickel

He was the Raiders second round pick in 1983, a round after Don Mosebar who it could be argued was the best to wear number 72 for the Raiders. So, all in all, a very good draft. Pickel appeared in all 16 games that season as a reserve nose tackle and posted 6.0 sacks on the way to the Raiders win in Super Bowl XVIII.

Longtime starting nose tackle, Reggie Kinlaw, would leave after the 1984 season and PIckel took over as the full time starter. Just a season later, Pickel was named first team All Pro. In total, he spent eight seasons with the Raiders, appearing in 121 games, starting 68. His final four NFL seasons came with the Jets.