Nov 2, 2013; Columbia, SC, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs offensive linesman Gabe Jackson (61) in the game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Williams-Brice Stadium. The Gamecocks defeated the Bulldogs 34-16. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
The Oakland Raiders third media available OTA was underway this afternoon and one of the most interesting non injury/absence piece of information to trickle out of the practice from the media at the Raiders facilities involved third round offensive lineman Gabe Jackson.
Jackson, one of the best run blocking guards in the 2014 draft class out of Mississippi State, was reported to have taken some first team reps at left guard according to Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Left guard is a position that is usually occupied by veteran Raider Khalif Barnes who started the majority of the final games of the Raiders 2013 schedule in the left guard role. In the role Barnes played some of the best football of his Raiders career although it should be said that anything was going to be an upgrade over the much maligned Lucas Nix.
Still Barnes solid play led to his sixth straight one year deal and he will provide strong competition for Jackson who is considered to be a potential Week One starter due to his impressive play at the college level where he was one of the best linemen in the SEC for most of his career. An impressive feat considering that Jackson plied his trade in the conference that is known for its mammoth offensive line prospects thanks to the deep recruiting pipeline in the conference.
It will be interesting to see if Jackson continues to get reps with the projected starters on the first team as the mandatory minicamp begins next week as well as leading up to training camp and beyond. It is too early to judge if Jackson is a potential Week One starter based on some work with the first team in OTA’s, but based on Jackson’s college performance along with his obvious assets to go with his potential it is a real possibility that the third round pick could be producing right away on the Raiders offensive line this season.