With the 81st pick in the 2014 NFL draft, the Oakland Raiders selected Mississippi State guard Gabe Jackson. Jackson is a big, smart player. He great size and very long arms. Usually the type of long arms you see on a offensive tackle, not guard. He’s a load to move. He stands 6’3 333 pounds and possesses a tree trunk like lower body. He has a vicious punch and very good balance. I think he’s good enough to start now in the NFL.
Reggie Mckenzie stuck to his draft board and took the best player available. The Raiders added Austin Howard, Donald Penn and Kevin Boothe on the offensive line this season so most didn’t think they would take another lineman. I think Jackson will compete for a starting position at left guard. Howard will move inside to right guard and last years second round pick Menelik Watson will play right tackle. That means Jackson, Boothe and Khalif Barnes will compete for the left guard spot. Jackson very well could win that job this preseason.
The Raiders could have Menelik Watson, Gabe Jackson, Stefen Wisniewski, Austin Howard and Donald Penn as their starting line up on the offensive line. Whether Boothe or Barnes plays left guard, that is much better than last years offensive line and represents a lot more depth.
If Jackson starts, that would give the Raiders three lineman over 330 pounds including Penn and Howard. The last time the Raiders had a line that big they were one of the best offenses in the NFL. I’m not saying that the days of Lincoln Kennedy, Mo Collins, Barry Sims and Frank Middleton are back, but it’s a start.