After going defense in the first round with Khalil Mack and offense in the second with Derek Carr, the Oakland Raiders went back to offense with their third pick (81st overall). They also went back to the big theme of their free agent signings by getting a lineman in Gabe Jackson out of Mississippi State.
Jackson is a guard with a MASSIVE body and huge long arms. At 6’3″ and 330 pounds he is an absolute beast in the middle of the line. But what makes him so promising is more than just his size, it’s his combination of size and athleticism. In fact, he is so athletic, he was considered an option for teams running a zone blocking scheme which is normally reserved for smaller more nimble linemen.
The biggest need along the offensive line for the Raiders is easily at guard. They added Kevin Boothe and Austin Howard (a right tackle they plan on moving to guard) during free agency but Jackson should be able to come in and compete for a starting job right away. In all likelihood he competes to play opposite Howard, making Boothe a nice backup who can play guard or center.
Raiders offensive line coach Tony Sparano has got to be a very happy camper with all of the new toys he has to play with.
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