Sept 1, 2012; Starkville, MS, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs offensive linesman Gabe Jackson (61) during the game against the Jackson State Tigers at Davis Wade Stadium. Mississippi State Bulldogs defeated the Jackson State Tigers 56-9. Mandatory Credit: Spruce DerdenUSA TODAY Sports

Oakland Raiders sign third round pick Gabe Jackson


The Oakland Raiders completed their 2014 NFL Draft class with the signing of third round pick Gabe Jackson.

Jackson was signed to a four-year contract and the former Mississippi State Bulldog’s left guard could compete for a starting spot along the Raiders offensive line as soon as this season with his combination of size, strength and ability. Initially, Jackson will serve as a backup to Kevin Boothe at left guard so he will have to compete with Lucas Nix for a reserve role.

The 6-4, 335-pound Jackson was a mainstay on the offensive line for Mississippi State over the last four seasons as he made 52 starts at left guard as he paved the way for Ladarius Perkins, Vick Ballard and Anthony Dixon who all shined in the offense as Jackson made their lives much easier with the massive holes he created.

Jackson was named to two All-American teams and two All-SEC teams during his career at Mississippi State and just as he was in Starkville with the Bulldogs, should be a mainstay along the Raiders offensive line at either right or left guard for the foreseeable future.

Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew will be glad to see Jackson signed and inserted in the lineup as soon as he is ready as he is a road-grader in the running game and capable of moving out defensive tackles to allow his running backs get through to the second level of the defense much easier.

Jackson was one of my favorite guards in this year’s draft and I believe the Raiders got a relative steal getting him in the third round. He could prove to be the best at his position in this year’s draft class.

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