The Senior Bowl is one of the more useful tools in the NFL Draft evaluation process as league general managers, scouts, and coaching staffs get the chance to watch some of the best prospects in that year’s draft class for the week. As a rule, the consensus Top 20 draft picks generally opt not to attend, but that does not mean there aren’t some top prospects at the Senior Bowl every year looking to up their stock.
While the Raiders missed out on the opportunity to coach the game for the second straight year when the league office appointed the Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars to coach the Bowl between the North and South this season, Reggie McKenzie’s staff was still active on Monday when the Raiders met with Mississippi State guard Gabe Jackson according to NFL.com’s College Football 24/7.
— CollegeFootball 24/7 (@NFL_CFB) January 21, 2014
Jackson is an impressive athlete who can get into the second level in run blocking despite being 339 pounds and held his own in the SEC during his college career. Expected to be one of the first guards taken in the draft it is no surprise that the Raiders were meeting with the guard who is one of the more high profile prospects at the Senior Bowl this season.
The meeting likely does not mean too much as in terms of gauging the Raiders interest in Jackson, who hasn’t been evaluated as a fifth round pick quite yet. One of the best offensive linemen in the draft, it could be possible that McKenzie would attempt to trade down for Jackson who has the makings and potential to be one of the best guards in the NFL. At this point in the process it is anybody’s guess on who is really interested in which prospects, but it couldn’t hurt the Raiders to be meeting with a potential franchise guard in Jackson right off the bat.