Oakland Raiders Offensive MVP Tournament: Match 2
Welcome to the second match of my Oakland Raiders MVP series.
In the last matchup, left tackle Jared Veldheer faced off against fullback Marcel Reece. Despite all of the things Reece does, Veldheer came out victorious. With almost 1,000 votes on the poll, Veldheer won with 66.6 percent of the votes opposed to Reece's 33.4 percent.
The comment section also contributed a lot of insight as well. It was a general consensus that left tackle was a more important position than fullback.
Unfortunately, this matchup is a bit more challenging. This matchup displays two speedy receivers in Darrius Heyward-Bey and Jacoby Ford.
Darrius Heyward-Bey was selected seventh overall—a selection that was highly criticized. Michael Crabtree of Texas Tech was said to be light years ahead of Heyward-Bey. Granted, those critics were right. Heyward-Bey struggled to hold onto the ball while Crabtree made play after play in college.
Today, those same critics are not as quick to pick Crabtree. Crabtree has been a "drama-queen" his entire career has not yet passed 1,000 yards catching. Heyward-Bey had about 100 yards more on eight less receptions in 2011.
Heyward-Bey's hard work and dedication is an admirable thing. Throughout the first two years of his career, he was ridiculed constantly. My ever-so-clever friends would shout out "Drops Hella Balls" and "Heyward-Bey has more letters in his name than catches."
Heyward-Bey's change from his rookie season to last season is a great story. He has not adapted into a No. 1 receiver yet, but he is clearly making progress.
Who is more valuable to the Raiders?
Jacoby Ford, on the other hand, found success as a rookie. Every Raider fan is familiar with the name. Unfortunately for Chiefs fans, Brandon Flowers is also familiar with the 5'9" speed demon.
Ford has been an electrifying part of the offense ever since he stepped foot on the field. He has blazing speed and is a consistent catcher. His hands were on display against teams like Miami and Kansas City.
Ford, like Reece, was used in many different ways under Hue Jackson. Screens, running plays and kickoffs are all things that Ford did well. Once he had the ball, the defense found themselves running for the end zone.
Returning is what puts Ford over the top. As a rookie, Ford returned three kickoffs for returns. In limited playing time, Ford returned one kick in 2011.
Heyward-Bey was the most consistent receiver in 2011, but Ford has been a great player since day one.
Tell me what you think! Which of these speedsters is more valuable to the Oakland Raiders? Vote and leave a comment!
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