The Oakland Raiders’ right tackle position might be the most open spot on the entire team. Currently, it would be the hardest position to pick the projected starter for 2017.
Luckily for Oakland, Raiders tackle David Sharpe has impressed Raiders coach Jack Del Rio.
During the media session after today’s minicamp practice, Del Rio said Sharpe has looked “bright,” has “been very purposeful” and has been “working at learning the system and understanding how we do things.”
Sharpe was considered a little bit of a project coming in but has “been growing from a technique standpoint” thanks to Raiders coach Mike Tice.
It is hard to get too excited about a player before the pads come on. Nonetheless, Sharpe is doing everything that he should be doing at the moment.
If he keeps working hard, then he will have “a bright future” like Del Rio predicted on Thursday.
The Oakland Raiders rookie class took some time off to play a round of golf. The group included Raiders cornerback Gareon Conley, defensive tackle Treyvon Hester, tackle David Sharpe and tackle Jylan Ware.
It was a relaxing round with music being played, some dancing on the greens and some casual trash talking, which can be watched in the video below.
Our rookie class recently hit the links for some team bonding over a round of golf. Take a look at how it all went down. pic.twitter.com/9ylu14ozUk
After whiffing on all of his mock drafts for the Silver and Black, ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. gave Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie a ‘C’ draft grade for his efforts in Philadelphia this weekend.
To begin his dissent from McKenzie’s draft class, Kiper began in on Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley.
“This is obviously a really difficult class to be assessing, given all that was swirling around Gareon Conley going into the draft, and without much time to gather information. I really just need to remove him from the equation here. On ability, he’s a top-15 player, and the Raiders obviously feel comfortable with what they know of his off-field situation. But that situation really transcends a discussion of player value. I do think the Raiders could have taken a few other players in that spot and felt good about it.”
Conley has no charges filed against him, multiple witness statements which back his position that he did not assault the alleged female victim and a passed polygraph test that he astutely sent to the Raiders (along with all other NFL teams) on draft day.
Shortly thereafter, Kiper goes on to critique Oakland’s second and third round selections, stating that former Connecticut safety Obi Melifonwu’s tape “doesn’t quite live up” to his combine marks and calling former UCLA nose tackle Eddie Vanderdoes a “puzzler” in the third round.
What’s confusing about the first part of Kiper’s analysis is the fact that if Melifonwu “lived up to his combine marks” on tape, he would arguably be the best draft prospect in the past decade.
In respect to Kiper’s position on Vanderdoes, Raiders coach Jack Del Rio thinks his best football is still ahead of him. Moreover, Vanderdoes’ freshman tape was some of the best in the country prior to his ACL tear in 2015.
Kiper wraps up his analysis of McKenzie’s later selections saying former Florida offensive tackle David Sharpe will provide depth along the offensive line, calling former Wake Forest linebacker Marquel Lee “a bit of a reach,” stating that former Washington State safety Shalom Luani has “a chance to stick” before circling back to Conley.
“The Conley situation clouds this, and I would have liked for them to get an inside linebacker,” Kiper concluded.
It did come down to a middle linebacker in former Vanderbilt standout Zach Cunningham and Melifonwu at pick No. 56, however, Kiper completely misunderstood the point of the draft — which was to stop a defense that gave up 60 explosive plays one year ago from being exposed again.
As such, Melifonwu gives Oakland a true tight-end stopper, Lee offers a very rangy and athletic interior linebacker presence and McKenzie keenly attacked this draft by stacking a secondary and both lines at vital positions.
Given that Kiper has so many draft classes to analyze, perhaps he wasn’t afforded the time to understand the context of McKenzie’s selections. A fact that means we give his draft grade of C for the Raiders, a big fat F.
Obviously, Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie doesn’t think it will be an issue on the field. Sharpe also has immediately refuted the reports on a conference call shortly after being drafted, stating that he just had a cataract removed from his right eye as a child.
No. 2, Sharpe was as a projected second or third round pick
Everyone knows Sharpe is a great football player, but he was also a great basketball player during his high school career in Jacksonville. He could have played basketball in college, but seemed to make the right decision to play football at Florida.
No. 4, Sharpe is a massive addition, literally
Sharpe is 6-foot-6, 343 pounds and will be a wall on the right side of the Raiders’ offensive line in the future.
No. 5, Sharpe is durable
Once he gained the starting left tackle position at Florida, he never looked back. He started in 26 out of the 27 games his sophomore and junior seasons.
Instead of playing his senior season in Florida, he decided to take his talents to Oakland.