Why the Slide?: David Sharpe

By Charlie Campbell, @draftcampbell

Three years ago, we started a series of articles on why certain prospects went undrafted. In that series, I reach out to sources with NFL teams to find out why their organizations passed on drafting a given player, and/or, what were the reasons for other teams to pass on that prospect. We got a lot of positive reader feedback about the series, so we decided to expand in the genre to investigate why some prospects slid in the draft. A year later, we started the Why Slide? series, and this year, it is back. Feel free to email me requests for “Why the Slide?” and “Why Undrafted?” at [email protected]. I can’t promise to get to all of them, but I will do my best and definitely respond.

About a month prior to the 2017 NFL Draft, I heard from some team sources that thought Sharpe would get selected in the second round. They pointed to Sharpe’s massive size, starting left tackle experience in the SEC, and a weak offensive tackle class to help motivate teams to take Sharpe a bit higher than where he belonged. Sharpe also was unique prospect in that he is blind in one eye, and some teams think that played a part in some of his down moments on the field. In the end, Sharpe slid to the back half of the fourth round during the 2017 NFL Draft, which was much lower than many expected.

In speaking with scouts, they said the reason that Sharpe fell was because of inconsistencies in his play and concerns about his weight. The vision issue wasn’t held against him, and many teams feel that if Sharpe moves to right tackle, the change will help him to mitigate any issues. The bigger concerns were that Sharpe was inconsistent on tape and some teams were worried that his weight could balloon at times. Those teams questioned his work ethic to keeping his weight in check.

The Oakland Raiders took Sharpe in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, and that was a really nice value pick for Reggie McKenzie. After losing Menelik Watson in free agency, the Raiders have a hole at right tackle, and Sharpe should immediately join that competition.

Sharpe is a better fit at right tackle in the NFL, so that could also be his long-term home. Oakland has a talented offensive line with a tough interior that should help Sharpe to develop. He also has a possible mentor in Raiders left tackle Donald Penn. Penn wasn’t a high draft pick, yet turned himself into a Pro Bowler. Penn also has had weight issues to battle in his career so perhaps Sharpe can learn from the veteran

Sharpe also landed with one of the best offensive line coaches in the NFL with Mike Tice. It wouldn’t be surprising if Sharpe ends up being a fourth-round steal for the Raiders and emerges as a quality starting right tackle in his career.

Fantasy Football Rankings - May 23

2025 NFL Mock Draft - May 21

NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 22

NFL Picks - Feb. 12