Those reports that Oakland Raiders fourth-round pick David Sharpe is blind in one eye sure caused a ruckus. But you’ve got to be blind not to see how adding Sharpe helps the offensive line in a big way.
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A gargantuan 6-foot-6 and 343 pounds with a massive wingspan (35 3/8 inch arms), Sharpe can be described as: A big and powerful SOB (that comes from offensive line scout Duke Manyweather). Manning the left tackle position at Florida, Sharpe has the flexibility to play either on the left or right bookend on the offensive line. And that’s vital.
The Raiders line strikes fear from Donald Penn to Gabe Jackson, but the right tackle position lacks consistent play. Free agent acquisition Marshall Newhouse owns the inside track on the spot (according to head coach Jack Del Rio), while incumbents Austin Howard and Vadal Alexander are there too. Add Sharpe to that mix, and it will only make everyone better. Sharpe gets to work on refining his pass protection skills from offensive line guru Mike Tice while pushing the veterans. If he does win the right tackle job; he can also kick back out to left once Penn departs.
Forget those initial reports, by the way. Sharpe and Raiders General Manager Reggie McKenzie debunked the whole blind thing.
“Just had a little cataract removed when I was younger,” Sharpe said. “Just been battling that since I’ve been young, but it doesn’t affect my play or vision or anything. I’m not blind.”
With that said, yet another anonymous scout gets to chime in and cost someone money. Although this is not fair, Sharpe handles the falsehood with strength.
Sharpe protected quarterback Luke Del Rio’s blindside at Florida. That’s right; the tackle protected Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio’s son’s blindside. I doubt JDR has any qualms about Sharpe protecting Raiders QB Derek Carr.