In the fourth round of the NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders drafted offensive tackle David Sharpe. As you may already know based on my coverage of the draft, this was my least favorite pick the Raiders made. But in the fourth round is when first years expectations begin to drop a lot so taking a developmental project isn’t necessarily a bad idea. I just thought there might be better prospects at tackle still available.
That being said, I have faith in Mike Tice to know what he’s doing. I just wish the Raiders would give him a young blue chip prospect to work with. But we’re here to talk about David Sharpe and what we can expect from him in year one.
The short answer is nothing. You should expect nothing from him in year one. Because if we end up seeing a lot of David Sharpe, it means something has gone wrong.
The Raiders are expecting Austin Howard and Marshall Newhouse to compete for the starting right tackle job. I know many think Vadal Alexander or Denver Kirkland could be in the running but I just don’t see it. Kirkland is most likely a guard in the future. And while Alexander could end up at tackle or guard, he isn’t ready to start at tackle yet. When he was forced into action last season, he looked better than expected for a seventh rounder but also collected a ton of holding penalties. And of course, left tackle will be held down by Donald Penn.
What’s missing from that paragraph is David Sharpe’s name and that’s because he shouldn’t be competing for a starting role. Sharpe is a developmental pick who would only start if more than one person ahead of him got injured. Of course, there’s a chance that with a good training camp and preseason that he might compete for more than that. Maybe a backup job and maybe even the right tackle position.
But as of now, the expectation is that Sharpe is a project to be worked on for the future. The Raiders see him as the potential heir apparent to Donald Penn at left tackle. Penn is already working with the youngster to teach him the ropes. Hopefully he will be ready to take over for Penn in the future, but for now, hopefully he isn’t a guy we see much of in 2017.