Gabe Jackson   OG   Mississippi St

TALENT BOARD ROUND 2

STRENGTHS
Gabe is an outstanding pass blocking guard. That might surprise you because all I have heard about him is his size and how big and powerful he is. He has excellent in the box quickness and moves his feet very well. He never over-lunges and uses his hands very well with an excellent punch out of his stance to stun his opponent at the line of scrimmage. He has good football strength in his upper and lower body and is ready to play the day after you draft him. Gabe has the foot quickness to mirror his opponent and works very well with his offense tackle identifying stunts and handing off defensive players. He has enough lateral agility to deal with the 1-gap attack defense that he will go up against at the next level. Gabe is “pass blocking” smart and stays with his blocks moving his feet even when he gets beat off the ball. He anchors against the bull rush; in short, there are very few times a defensive tackle is going through Gabe to get to the quarterback. He has the potential to be a Pro Bowl left guard for the team that selects him.

CONCERNS
As big and as strong as Gabe is, he is very inconsistent when blocking for the run. When he stays low, it’s not a problem, but when he comes off high, he struggles to gain leverage and move his man out of the whole. That being said, when you need Gabe to move a player on the goal line or to move the ball on third and short most of the time he gets the job done. He also seems to get confused and doesn’t commit to his blocks when he goes to the second level. He lacks the foot speed to be used in a pulling system or for screen and sweeps but if you are patient and give him some time he gets out there and gets the job done when blocking in space. The reality is that Gabe might be quick in the box, but he is slow out of the box.

BOTTOM LINE
I expected to put on the film of Gabe and see him mauling players off the line and believe me, there is no one more surprised than me to see a 335 lbs guard with the pass blocking techniques, skill and overall movement that Gabe has. He is a pure Left Guard and if there is an injury to a teammate on the line, you would be nuts to move him. Not many players with his size have the finesse to pass block the way he can and, if you can get him to concentrate on his run blocking like he has on his pass blocking, you will have yourself a Pro Bowl left guard who will play for you for the next ten years. With his size and athleticism in a short area, it doesn’t take a genius to see that Gabe will also be an excellent run blocker in the future. That is if, he concentrates more on becoming more consistent with his techniques and work as hard as he has worked on his pass blocking techniques to improve. Gabe most likely won’t be able to improve on his foot speed, but losing a little weight might help him to get out on screens and sweeps and have a lot of fun knocking the snot out of those smaller linebackers, safeties and corners in space! That should add to the challenge and self motivation that he needs to improve in that area. Gabe can play the day after you draft him because he has the athletic talents and strength to play his position at a high level.

Drew Boylhart
MAR/2014