Three rounds are now in the books for the Raiders. The latest added to the haul is offensive guard Gabe Jackson out of Mississippi. We also saw the Raiders make their first trade of the draft, moving down from 67 to 81. It makes their second year in a row they have done draft trade business with the Dolphins.
The move down 14 spots was one that was hard to refuse because they picked up a high fourth round pick in the process. The Raiders may not have a selection in rounds five and six but did one better with the extra fourth round pick. They now have two high picks in round four at 107 and 116. Solid move with fantastic value in return.
In Gabe Jackson the Raiders got a player who was projected to go in round two or three and was considered one of the top offensive guards in this draft. He fits Tony Sparano's preference for big physical guards.
This pick was a great value at a position the Raiders were looking to upgrade. It's hard to argue with that selection with the exception of perhaps the Raiders now having quite a logjam at left guard with Kevin Boothe, Khalif Barnes, Tony Bergstrom, and now Jackson. But with the play at left guard last season, you can't blame them for making damn sure they shore up the position.
Coming into this draft, the biggest problem the Raiders had was that they had several needs but few picks because of the Matt Flynn and Matt Schaub trades. No worries for Reggie, who traded down several picks in the third with Miami and still got a player I consider one of the best values in the draft. Tomorrow I expect even more wheeling and dealing from Reggie as he seeks to add talent across the board.
Gabe Jackson, as a road-grading guard, will be one of the keys to getting the Raiders running and passing attacks back to where they need to be. He doesn't give up sacks and he is one of the best at clearing the way on inside runs. He is country strong and athletic enough for left guard. His selection, even with Kevin Boothe already at left guard, gives the Raiders much needed depth considering the fact that the entire offensive line gets hurt on an annual basis. A franchise left tackle and receiver are really the only things Oakland lacks now.
Marcus Allen Krause
Gabe Jackson is one big mofo! This guy is strong as an Ox and immediately has the opportunity to win one of the starting Guard spots. I would have preferred Will Sutton or Louis Nix but I can not be mad about the selection of Gabe. His nastiness has Raiders written all over him, and so will his NFL career stat line now that he is an Oakland Raider. Jackson would have been a decent pick even at 67 but trading down to 81 and getting and extra 4th round pick in the process makes it a great pick.
I love the selection of Gabe Jackson. Once again, the Raiders took one of the best players available and filled a huge need at the same time. It is very difficult to find instant starters in the third round, but that is what Reggie McKenzie just did. Jackson will be in line to start at offensive guard providing the Raiders a great addition on the offensive line.
Listed at 6'3" and 336 lbs, Jackson has great size for an offensive guard. He is a hard worker and should become a leader for the Raiders. Jackson is also intelligent and has no off-field issues. At the very least, the Raiders have a solid starter. This pick also makes sense because of the previous selection of Derek Carr. Carr struggles when under pressure, and Jackson will be able to provide better protection for the Raiders quarterback of the future. The icing on the cake is that the Raiders obtained Jackson, and an extra fourth round pick. Once again, Reggie McKenzie nailed the pick.