Mississippi State guard Gabe Jackson was called "a brawler and a mauler" Wednesday at the Reese's Senior Bowl. And that's a good thing.
After redshirting as a true freshman in 2009, Jackson, who is 6-foot-3 and 339 pounds, started all 52 games in his Bulldogs career. Along the way, he became one of the best guards in the nation, and he has a chance to be the first guard selected in the 2014 draft.
He is known mostly for his work as a run blocker, and NFL Media draft analyst Charles Davis called him "an absolute road-grader" during NFL Network's coverage of Senior Bowl practices on Wednesday.
"If you're looking for a guard, looking for a guy who can play, I think Gabe Jackson is someone you'd better be looking at," Davis said.
Fellow analyst Mike Mayock glowingly described Jackson as "a brawler and a mauler," and said Jackson is "about as physical a guy as you're going to see."
Mayock did say that a team's interest in Jackson could be determined by the type of offensive scheme it runs.
"A lot of the zone-scheme offensive line teams probably won't like him as much as the gap-scheme teams," he said, pointing out that Jackson does his best work in close quarters. How he blocks in space probably is a concern for some teams.
Jackson, Baylor's Cyril Richardson, Stanford's David Yankey and UCLA's Xavier Su'a-Filo look to be the top four guards available. Su'a-Filo was a tackle in college but projects inside in the NFL.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.