(Editor's Note: Heading into the upcoming NFL Draft, held May 8-10, DallasCowboys.com will take a closer look at the prospects, including some that could be potential fits with the Cowboys. Today's featured player is Mississippi State's Gabe Jackson.)
College: Mississippi State
Honors:Jackson was a two-time All-America selection and a two-time first-team All-SEC recipient during his time at Mississippi State.
Key stat:He started all 52 games of his career at left guard. He didn't give up a single sack his senior year and was awarded the Cornerly Trophy as the top collegiate player in Mississippi.
Where He's Projected:Jackson's likely to be off the board in either the second or third round. He's among a host of guards who fall in that range, including Furman's Dakota Dozier and Baylor's Cyril Richardson. There could be a run at guard at any point between the second and fourth round, but it'd be shocking if Jackson wasn't one of the top five guards gone in this draft.
How He Helps the Cowboys:Any guard who keeps his defender off his quarterback all season could help the Cowboys. Jackson, who recorded 30 reps at the NFL Combine, is a powerful interior presence. Speed isn't his game, so he might not be best suited for the Cowboys' zone blocking scheme. But it's possible he could fit into any system given how strong and fluid he is at guard. The Cowboys have no backups at those spots, and Jackson would not only provide depth, but would push to start immediately.
Scout's Take – Bryan Broaddus: [embedded_ad]
Despite his size, his feet and footwork will allow him to have a chance in a zone scheme. Massive man that shows initial quickness off the snap. Really nice job of controlling the defender on the down block. Can jump inside to cut his man off as well. Jackson has lower body power, and this helps him get movement right off the snap. He plays with really heavy hands. When you see him punch, there's some shock and jolt in them. He'll adjust to his man up the field, and that is because of his feet. Really amazing to watch how well he does move.
Jackson can put himself in position to finish the block, but would like to see better sustain. There are snaps where he gets into his man, gets him going, then loses contact. Have seen him climb locks on the defender and when he gets in that position, he can be a load to handle. Would like to see him play this way more. He'll catch, control and attempt to steer instead of just hammering his man. Movement skills are impressive for his size. There are snaps where you see him easily get out in space on the second level, then adjust.
When he does have his issues, it's when he plays with a wide base, and this hurts him at times with his movement. There are times where his head will go down and this gets him in trouble. He becomes too overextended and it results in him playing off balance. Powerful player. He'll need some technique work on his set, but when he sits down on his man, he's very hard to move. He's made over 50 career starts at Mississippi State, so he'd be the type of player that you plug in and play. Would be an asset to a club with his ability to set the depth of the pocket, because he is not going to be knocked back. Was one of my Top 50 players in this draft.