Originally published on Silver & Black Report on May 9, 2014
After selecting Derek Carr in the second round on Friday, Reggie McKenzie returned to building the trenches with offensive guard Gabe Jackson at 81st overall.
Jackson provides the Raiders with another big-bodied guard that can be a force in the NFL for some time.
NFL.com’s draft profile describes him as “Big, thickly built, relatively nuanced blocker who brings a steadying presence to the interior offensive line. Dependability and effectiveness blocking for pass and run combined with sterling intangibles, including football intelligence, make him capable of starting as a rookie and holding down a position for years to come.”
Jackson should help to sure up a Raiders offensive line that has been almost completely rebuilt this offseason.
The 6-foot-3, 336-pound offensive guard took time out of his day to speak with the media on Friday. The audio can be heard in its entirety below, and the transcript can be read below as well.
Q: Did you know you were going to land with the Raiders?
Jackson: “It was a surprise. I didn’t know that I would end up landing there.”
Q: Did you have any conversations with the Raiders?
Jackson: “Just moments before they picked me.”
Q: So you never spoke with them during the offseason?
Jackson: “I did at the Senior Bowl. I spoke with the offensive line coach.”
Q: Were you watching the draft? Did you see that they had picked a quarterback?
Jackson: “Yes. I was watching. I saw they traded back earlier and I thought I might have ended up there but I didn’t know.”
Q: Where do you fit in with the Raiders offense?
Jackson: “I feel like I fit in with their physical play. They like strong, physical offensive linemen.”
Q: How would you describe your strengths?
Jackson: “My awareness and use of my hands and feet. My alertness and knowing what’s going on.”
Q: Have you played any right guard or has it always been on the left?
Jackson: “Always on the left.”
Q: What do you know about the Raiders?
Jackson: “I haven’t watched a lot of it. I’ve watched some sometimes. I always know they’ve been physical, so that’s the main thing.”
Q: Raiders make a big deal about drafting guys that are serious about their craft. Would that describe you?
Jackson: “Most definitely.”
Q: What kind of blocking scheme did you guys mostly run in college?
Jackson: “Power scheme and some outside zone schemes, and a little gap.”
Q: What makes you more of a guard than a tackle?
Jackson: “To me, I think I’m good on the inside for my power and being good in short space areas. I’m not having to block defensive ends like most tackles are built for.”
Q: Your college coach said you’re a guy that leads by example. Do you see that changing in the NFL?
Jackson: “No, when I get there and I’m around the older guys, I can learn from them and get into that role.”