The Raiders had a down year in 2018, but guard Gabe Jackson wasn’t at fault and was in fact, one of their best players.
Drafted in 2014 by former general Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie, Jackson is the only remaining starter from that year’s offensive line and he’s performed in a ways hat shows why he’s been a steady if not spectacular for Oakland.
According to Pro Football Focus, Jackson finished the season with a 69.2 overall grade, not earth shattering, but good enough to be the highest qualifying guard in the AFC West. Jackson will have to continue playing like that and even better if he wants to keep quarterback Derek Carr upright.
The Raiders decided to upgrade many positions this past offseason but right guard wasn’t one of them. It’s up to Jackson to prove Oakland right and perform in a way that shows why his position was left untouched.
The Raiders signed Jackson to a 5-year extension worth $55 million. The guaranteed portion of that contract will have been paid out by the end of this season, so Oakland could cut him at any moment without any future cap penalties. If he plays the way he did last year, it shouldn’t be a concern and he could even sign another extension. After all, he’s just 27 years old and going into his prime.
Jackson performed well in 2018 and knowing how many changes the Raiders offensive line has undergone in the last couple years, it’s comforting to know he’s a tested commodity in the AFC West.