OG Gabe Jackson
As of last week, the title “OG” takes on a whole new meaning for Big Smooth. Dude got PAID, becoming the third highest paid guard in the league on a 5-year, $56 million extension.
Drafted in the third round as a major part of the fantastic 2014 draft, Jackson immediately locked down the starting job at left guard and had a fantastic rookie season. He spent his first two seasons at left guard as arguably the team’s best lineman. Then they added Kelechi Osemele which prompted Jackson to move to right guard.
A brief transition to right guard and he was just as dominant as he had been on the left side. He didn’t give up a sack last season and ‘Route 66’ wide open for the Raiders to put up the league’s sixth best rushing attack.
Who wore it best: Gabe Jackson (2014-present)
Kevin Gogan also spent three seasons with the Raiders from 1994-96 and went to a Pro Bowl in one of those seasons, so in that regard he would appear to have a slight leg up on Jackson at this juncture. However, three seasons was it for Gogan with the Raiders. Jackson was a Pro Bowl alternate last season and played at or near a Pro Bowl level since he was drafted.
Judging a lineman by Pro Bowls can be inaccurate because they don’t have definitive stats. Osemele was a Pro Bowl caliber lineman in Baltimore before he came to Oakland, but it wasn’t until his huge free agent contract that anyone really noticed. And wouldn’t you know it, he was ‘suddenly’ an All Pro.
Jackson is entering his fourth season with the Raiders as a full time starting guard with five more seasons after that. He has established himself as the new face of the number 66.