Gabe Jackson Scouting Report

What Makes Him Good

  • Incredible Power in his Punch
  • Plays with good leverage/knee bend
  • Quick Feet/Good Leg Drive

The first thing I noticed when watching Jackson was in pass protection he would extend his arms, give the defender a good initial punch, and the DT would abruptly move backwards, almost as if they were shell-shocked. Jackson is 339 pounds, so you do expect him to be powerful, but his ability to generate power initially, and even when he’s retreating to re-anchor is very impressive.

The amount of waist benders in the NFL get washed out quickly. They just don’t succeed. This isn’t an issue with Jackson. He does an excellent job of bending his knees & playing with natural leverage. This allows him to become even more powerful than he actually is.

For a man his size, I was pleasantly surprised to see how quick Jackson’s feet were. He does a good job of pulling & moving laterally, or getting to the second level. I wouldn’t say he’s a fluid athlete, but he has good feet for a man his size. This allows him to mirror pass rushers after the initial punch. One Jackson locks on, it’s RIP. You can see the leg drive and it usually ends up with he defender on the ground. You don’t see defenders disengage when Jackson gets his hands on them.

Where He’ll Struggle

  • Hand Placement
  • Awareness
  • Quicker 3 techs/1 gapping 1 techs

Jackson was able to get away with some shaky hand placement in the SEC because he could simply over power them. But technicians or DT’s or are simply more athletic than Jackson will give him fits. I would’ve loved to see Jackson go against Dominique Easley of Florida. Aaron Donald, who’s a good 50 pounds lighter than Jackson, was able to walk Jackson back into the QB during the Senior Bowl, and was giving him fits throughout the game. He’ll need to correct his hand placement first and foremost to be successful in the NFL, where everyone is strong.

While Jackson never really misses his assignments, it’s like a lot of times he’s just going through the motions. At times he’ll be asked to pull, or get to the second level, and he is either too slow to get to his target or react to his target. What I’m trying to say is if the play isn’t how it was drawn up on the playbook, I’m not sure Jackson knows who to pick up. He doesn’t strike me as a very aware player.

I think he’ll have issues, at least initially, when it comes to blocking quicker 3 techniques in the NFL. Not only due to his shaky hand placement, but he will lunge at times, or simply  allow the DT to cross his face.

Grade/Final Thought

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
Non-Draftable     < 4.0

 

Trait Weight Grade
Run Block 4 3.9
Pass Block 4 3.6
Technique 2.5 2
Strength 2.5 2.4
Awareness 2 1.3
Change of Direction 2 1.6
Flexibility 2 2
Quickness 2 1.6
Size 2 1.6
Length 2 1.9

Jackson grades out to a 7.88, who a top 40 selection. His incredible power, matched with his flexibility allow him to create running lanes. He’s also shown the good enough feet to mirror and be very good in pass protection. I docked him for his size, because it didn’t look like good weight at the Senior Bowl. He’ll also need to become more aware and fix his hand placement. That said, Jackson is a guy that should excel in a predominant power blocking scheme. He’s a rookie that will be a plug and play starter.