Never fear Raider Nation, Oakland Raiders General Manager Reggie McKenzie has solidified the 2014 NFL Draft class by signing his third round pick G-Gabe Jackson. This concludes all of the Raiders 2014 Draft Picks, and it is onward and upward to Mandatory Mini-Camps, Training Camp, Pre-Season, and finally the Regular Season.
For all those years Raider Nation has weathered the draft holdout storms, we can finally breathe a sigh of relief and revel in the fact that all the rookies have been signed before any of the mandatory workouts begin. It’s a new dawn and a new age for the famed Silver and Black, and it is one that will have the Raiders turning some heads in 2014.
The 6′ 3″ 336 pound Guard out of Mississippi State is going to be a beast alongside the new members of the Oakland Raiders upgraded line. Obviously there will be competition in camp this year between Jackson, Tony Bergstrom, Kevin Boothe, Lucas Nix, Lamar Mady, Jack Cornell, and Jarrod Shaw, for the starting Guard positions. In my opinion, the best two are going to be Gabe Jackson and Kevin Boothe, but look for Nix and Mady to bring the most competition in camp.
Building this offensive line will be a challenge, but there is hope with the road graders on the team. A much improved run game, featuring Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew, should have plenty of lanes opened up, and Matt Schaub should be able to remain upright to make the necessary throws.
It’s going to be exciting as we head into the dead space between Mandatory Mini-Camps and Training Camp, and I’m sure this will be talked about more and more. However, I can’t wait to see the product on the field for the first time in August, and I know that Offensive Line Coach/Assistant Head Coach Tony Sparano will have them ready to go. Let’s go Raiders!