Given that he was already a Pro Bowl alternate this year, 2018 might be the season that right guard Gabe Jackson finally makes it to Orlando. Though he was a better player in 2016 than in 2017, Jackson does play on one of the best offensive lines in football in Oakland. For that reason, he’ll garner the attention he would need to earn a Pro Bowl nod.
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Though it would be incredible if the Raiders sent four of their five offensive linemen to the Pro Bowl, that doesn’t overly realistic. Who knows how Donald Penn bounces back from another season-ending injury? Though Kelechi Osemele should make it three in a row in 2018, Rodney Hudson is coming off the best year of his career. It will be hard for him to repeat what he just did in 2017.
As for Jackson, he wasn’t all that healthy last fall. He had to play next to a new member to the front-five in free agent acquisition Marshall Newhouse. Simply put, Jackson doesn’t have a perennial Pro Bowler playing outside of him like Osemele has in Penn. It does make things a tad more difficult for Jackson entering year five in the league.
That being said, Oakland did land an excellent offensive line coach in former Raiders head coach Tom Cable this offseason. Cable may want to bring in more zone concepts to the offensive line. While that could undermine the mauling this Raiders offensive line does as a power team, it could conceivably forge a newer and easier path for Jackson to make his first trip to the Pro Bowl. We have to believe he’ll get in one of these days. It’s just a matter of time.