Gabe Jackson should have been Top 10 pick, says Gil Brandt
By Chase Ruttig
Dec 28, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos defensive tackle Terrance Knighton (98) is pushed to the turf by Oakland Raiders guard Gabe Jackson (66) in the first quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
When the Oakland Raiders grabbed physical beast Gabe Jackson in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft it was automatically projected as a steal for the franchise as Jackson was one of the best run blocking linemen in the history of the SEC during his time at Mississippi State. General manager Reggie McKenzie finding an elite run blocker in the third round after getting Khalil Mack in the first round before Derek Carr in the second as he dominated the first two days of the draft last year.
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After a successful rookie season at guard, Jackson is ready to make the leap into being one of the best run blocking specialists in the league after getting his first full offseason in the NFL. League analysts now praising the Raiders for the pick as some are going as far as saying that the lineman may have been one of the best players in the draft.
NFL Network’s Gil Brandt, who was a former VP of player personnel for the Dallas Cowboys, praised Jackson after attending camp in Napa. Claiming that the Raider “should have been drafted in the Top 10” of the 2014 Draft, placing the guard in the same stratosphere as fellow teammate Khalil Mack as one of the best talents out of last year’s rookie class.
Brandt also gave praise for Derek Carr as a second round pick for the Raiders, stating that like Jackson he should have been in the Top 10 to top half of the first round range as a prospect and certainly so after his debut season in Oakland.
It is a growing opinion that the Raiders had one of the best drafts of 2014 as general manager Reggie McKenzie put together steal after steal. Nobody has went as far as Brandt ini saying they got three first round talents, but based on the college careers of Jackson along with Carr it is easy to argue that the Raiders could have three franchise building blocks out of their first three picks from last year. If the trio that includes Jackson can develop to their full potential the Raiders rebuild into a contender will be closer than it was before McKenzie started building the team as the franchise’s first general manager.