Oakland Raider Receiver Jacoby Ford: Shades of Cliff Branch

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Oakland Raider Receiver Jacoby Ford: Shades of Cliff Branch

The first thing Oakland Raider owner Al Davis said upon trading for quarterback Jason Campbell was, "He's the next Jim Plunkett." Campbell hasn't lived up to it so far but Plunkett wasn't even the Plunkett Raider Nation grew to love in his first year.

I will wait until next year to pass judgement on that one because Campbell did start to come on this season.

Davis has desprately sought another Cliff Branch since he retired in 1985 as well. Willie Gault, Sam Grady, James Jett, Alexander Wright, and Alvis Witthed were track guys that Davis brought in to try to fill the void.

Willie Gault looked as if he was going to work out after a 985-yard, season in 1990. But neither Jeff Hostetler nor Jay Schroeder were the guys that can get him the ball consistently.

Davis did manage to find an all time great in Tim Brown along the way. Brown was among the NFL's fastest men at one time but a couple knee injuries took a step away from him.

But he still turned out to be a Hall of Fame type of football player.

Randy Moss was a freak of a deep threat in Minnesota but "didn't wanna play" when in Oakland. Maybe it was the throws of the quarterbacks he played with in Oakland that got him out of the mood.

Darrius Heyward-Bey was then selected in the first round in 2008 by Davis. Heyward-Bey has improved but has yet to show consistent hands and route running.

Louis Murphy has the look of a big time deep threat and comes through in the clutch. Those are definitely traits of Branch but Murphy is more of a Willie Gault type with the long stride.

Davis then takes another shot and ends up with Jacoby Ford.

Ford actually has close similarities to Branch.

Turn the page to see how close.

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