The Las Vegas Raiders have been able to cite their offensive line as a strength in recent years, fueled by the All-Pro level play of Center Rodney Hudson.
Gabe Jackson has been a battery mate for Hudson at right guard during this time but experienced a down year last season as he missed the first six weeks of play because of an injury. Even when he returned, Jackson didn’t play to his usual effectiveness, as evidenced by receiving the lowest run-blocking grade of his career at 53.6 by Pro Football Focus (PFF).
However, coming into this season, the outlook for Jackson is trending back up, as evidenced when ESPN put out a list of the top bounce-back candidates for each team, with Jackson making the cut for the Raiders.
Jackson’s outlook for 2020, according to ESPN, is “A healthy Jackson gives the Raiders one of the best offensive lines in the game… when right, Jackson is one of the toughest road graders in the game at right guard… by all accounts, Jackson, whose name was bandied about as a trade or cap casualty candidate this spring, is healthy and happy now, which should make the Raiders even happier.”
I can’t imagine the team wouldn’t be happy to see one of their historically more consistent players return to form. We know the Raiders want to be a team that runs the football well and often, so having Jackson stay healthy will be critical to that effort and maintain the rest of the offensive line.
To think about what Josh Jacobs could do this year with a fully healthy offensive line after the excellent rookie season he had last year is a scary thought.
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