When the Raiders selected Florida offensive tackle David Sharpe in the fourth round of the recent NFL draft, he was typecast by some as a somewhat limited prospect.
Some draft reports noted Sharpe was “legally blind” in his right eye. Those reports questioned whether Sharpe would be restricted to just playing left tackle – where he started for the Gators this past season – because he wouldn’t be able to see clearly to his outside at right tackle.
But since being drafted, Sharpe has said those reports about his vision were exaggerated. He told Bay Area reporters that he had a cataract removed from his right eye when he was younger.
“But it doesn’t affect my play or vision or anything,” he said, according to Jimmy Durkin of the Bay Area News Group. “I’m not blind.” Sharpe says the vision out of his right eye is “a little blurrier, but not much”
At the recent Raiders rookie mini camp, Sharpe was at left tackle. Some believe he could develop into the successor to Donald Penn on the left side. But the Raiders also believe Sharpe can play on the right side. If that’s the case, he could put pressure on starter Austin Howard.
Though Sharpe started 26 games at left tackle over the past two seasons at Florida, he believes he could easily make the transition to the right side with the Raiders if that’s what they want.
“It’s not very hard,” Sharpe told Levi Damien of SB Nation. “I played a little bit of both in 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.”
At 6-foot-6 and 343 pounds, Sharpe has shown he has the athleticism to make the transition. He ranked third among all linemen in running the three-cone drill and 20-yard shuttle at the NFL combine in February, and was a basketball standout in high school.
Plus, the Raiders received good reports about Sharpe from Luke Del Rio -- Jack's son -- who happens to be a quarterback at Florida.