With the 48th pick in Pride Of Detroit's 2014 NFL mock draft, the Baltimore Ravens select Mississippi State offensive guard Gabe Jackson. Scottishlionsfan is serving as the Ravens' general manager, and his reasoning for the pick is below.
After going safety in Round 1, the Ravens' only real position of need is O-line, with the position of wide receiver being a minor need. After averaging only a paltry 3.0 yards a carry last year, the Ravens have resolved to get meaner in the trenches, and Gabe Jackson typifies that. After having serious looks at Joel Bitonio, Ja'Wuan James and the host of wide receivers still on the board, I concluded that this guy is the best mix of high ceiling and high floor left in the draft.
Jackson possesses the power to dominate opponents physically while displaying the agility and flexibility to block off the interior pass rush, and he shows the burst and awareness to get downfield and block for the run. His wingspan (82 1⁄8", which is what you would expect from a 6'10 athlete) and athleticism will give the Ravens a mauler to build their zone scheme around. The main reason Jackson was not talked about as a first-round prospect is the mental lapses, which are easy to correct. As an added bonus, this allows the Ravens to kick Kelechi Osemele back out to his natural position of RT.
One final point that is sure to sway some POD voters: The player most scouts have compared Jackson to? Larry Warford.
Check out the 2014 POD Community Mock Draft tracker for a look at all of the picks.