The Raiders traded down in the third round for the first time in the 2014 draft, trading from the 67th pick down to the 81st overall pick. In the process, the Raiders added another 4th round selection – number 116 overall.
With their third round pick, then, Oakland addressed the offensive line, adding a mauler in guard Gabe Jackson out of Mississippi State.
Jackson, a physical presence at 6’3” and 336 lbs, has the girth that you want in a guard (“big butt, big gut” is the old mantra for guards).
Jackson was a two time Captain and a four-year starter at Mississippi State and he was very durable during his time, there. He doesn’t have elite physical skills but he is very solid (both literally and metaphorically). He isn’t a vocal leader, but says that he tries to lead by example.
Jackson is best when he can dig in against a pass rush and he can hold his own against large defensive tackles. He doesn’t have elite footspeed and can struggle if he’s asked to move quickly to block a blitzing linebacker.
Jackson fits the McKenzie mold to a “T” – He’s another large, physically gifted player who showed himself to be a leader in college.
At this point, Jackson is no lock to be a starter, but his best bet would be the LG position. On a conference call with local media, Jackson said he had never played any position other than LG. He said that he does better with smaller spaces where he can use his power to overcome.
As of now, The offensive line projects like this:
LT-Penn LG – Boothe/Jackson C – Wisniewski RG – Howard RT – Watson