The Raiders have impressed in the draft so far and have found the best players available while filling needs at the same time. It has been a long time since the Raiders drafted so well. Both Khalil Mack and Derek Carr were steals in the first and second round. Then, Reggie McKenzie worked a trade with the Miami Dolphins giving up his 67th overall pick in exchange for the Dolphins third round pick (81 overall) and fourth round pick (116 overall). McKenzie used that 81st overall pick to select:
Gabe Jackson, OG, Mississippi State
Once again, the Raiders strike excellent value. Jackson would have been a good pick at #67 overall, but he is a steal at #81 overall. "I really like their draft picks" said NFL.com's Mike Mayock. Jackson was the number 71 overall player on Mike Mayocks Big Board.
Listed at 6'3" and 336 lbs, Jackson has great size for an offensive lineman. He is experienced and very intelligent. But he needs to improve his slow 5.63 40-yard dash and become more explosive. Overall, Jackson should be a nice addition on the offensive line.
Jackson fills a huge hole and will become an instant starter on the Raiders offensive line leaving the trenches looking like:
LT: Donald Penn
LG: Gabe Jackson
C: Stefen Wisniewski
RG: Austin Howard
RT: Menelik Watson
It is very difficult to find instant starters in the third round, but Reggie McKenzie just pulled off the feat with the addition of Gabe Jackson. The Raiders just keep on adding to an outstanding draft.