We've been beating a dead horse, I'm guilty too. Jeromey Clary this, Jeromey Clary that. The fact is, he's replaceable. It was clear from the 1st series of the preseason what Charger fans were in store for.
That brings us today to Gabe Jackson, another "safe" pick who played and excelled at left guard at Mississippi State in college. Before we get into where he excels and struggles at, here's how he stacks up versus other guards at the combine.
|Metric||Jackson||Average OG At the Combine|
|Arm Length||33 3/4"||33.55"|
|3 Cone Drill||8.25||7.84|
|20 yd Short Shuttle||4.78||4.78|
What Makes Him So Good
- Very Powerful Upper body Strength/Punch
- Plays with Good, Natural Knee Bend
- Quick Feet-Moves well for his size
- Counter Moves from quicker Defensive Tackles
- Inconsistent Hand Placement
|Multiple Pro Bowl Player, Top 10||8.5 – 9.0|
|Highly Productive Starter, 1st Round||8.0 – 8.4|
|Very Good Starter, Early 2nd Round||7.8 – 7.9|
|Reliable Starter, 2nd Round||7.5 – 7.7|
|Potential Starter in Year 2, 3rd Round||7.0 – 7.4|
|Backup/Spot Starter, 4th Round||6.5 – 6.9|
|Productive Backup, 5th Round||6.0 – 6.4|
|Very Good Backup/STs, 6th Round||5.5 – 5.9|
|Quality Backup/Good STs, 7th Round||5.0 – 5.4|
|Backup/STs/Project Player, 7th Round||4.5 – 4.9|
|Priority Free Agent w/ Limitations||4.0 – 4.4|
|Change of Direction||2||1.6|
Jackson grades out to a 7.88, or a top 50 player. He has very good power, matched with his flexibility and this allows him to create running lanes that would make any runner happy. He also has quick enough feet to mirror in pass protection, combined with his length, he should be a very good plug and play type starter as a rookie. I knocked Jackson for his size, because he it didn't look like he was carrying good weight at the Senior Bowl, and he came into the season heavy, too. Some have mentioned he wasn't as quick this year because of the added weight.
How He Fits as a Charger
Jackson would allow Chad Rinehart to play right guard, or if you really want Ryan Mathews to make the Pro Bowl, you put him next to DJ Fluker to create massive running lanes. Either way, he'd be an upgrade to the offensive line. Unlike Troutman & Clary, Jackson is rarely on the ground, and doesn't make mistakes in the run game, something head coach Mike McCoy is clearly interested in. I think we can all believe in coach Joe D'Alessandris that he would work out any awareness issues Jackson has.