Over the past few years the Oakland Raiders offensive line has gotten its fair share of hype. Many have touted the unit as arguably the best in the league, perhaps only second to the Dallas Cowboys and possibly the best in the AFC.
Of that elite group, Gabe Jackson has received much less praise compared to his coworkers Donald Penn, Rodney Hudson and Kelechi Osemele.
Over the past few seasons, Hudson, Penn and Osemele have all made the pro bowl while Jackson has not risen above an alternate. Jackson has also missed just one game in the past three seasons.
And Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was ready to set the record straight on Jackson when asked if he was underrated.
“Yes,” Derek Carr said Tuesday. “Those other three have made Pro Bowls and have gotten a lot of accolades. I guess they just don’t want to put all our guys in the Pro Bowl, that’s what it comes down to. There’s no way we could have four, we can only have three. Gabe Jackson is probably the most underrated person in the NFL because of the other three. Now you have another first-round pick on the line, too. Poor Gabe is just left in the wind, but not by us. We know how special he is. We know how important he is. I will say this: every time I look at his Madden rating I get mad, though. It doesn’t do him justice.”
Carr’s comments weren’t the first time Jackson received praise from inside the organization. Coach Jon Gruden brought it up months ago.
“Gabe Jackson is the most underrated guard,” Gruden said. “For him not to be in a Pro Bowl, there really should be an investigation, honestly. We’ve got three really good players in there.”
They’re right. The Madden ratings do tell a story as Jackson (79) is the lowest one compared to Penn (86), Osemele (90) and Hudson (95). Amazingly, Kolton Miller, who hasn’t played an NFL snap, is just two points below Jackson at 77 overall.
Jackson has been outstanding as a player both at left and right guard in his four NFL seasons, but is often overlooked. And while it would be nice for Jackson to receive national attention and more accolades, it is just important that the Raiders have him playing right guard for the upcoming season.
While the rest of the world might not know how good Jackson is, Raider Nation sure does.