This year, the Oakland Raiders found a gem in the fourth round of the NFL Draft when they selected Jacoby Ford out of Clemson. He didn't get much of an opportunity early in the season with guys like Johnnie Lee Higgins, Nick Miller and Rock Cartwright ahead of him on the depth chart for returning kicks. But, when he finally did nail down the job, it paid off for the Raiders.
His three kick returns for touchdowns led the AFC and tied him for the NFL lead with Leon Washington of Seattle. His first big return came on the opening kickoff of the second half against the Chiefs. The Raiders went into halftime down 10-0 and that return for a TD ignited the Raiders' comeback victory over the division leading Chiefs.
Ford also returned the opening kickoff against the Dolphins and Colts.
Ford is the type of player that deserves to get into the Pro Bowl. He is a threat to score from anywhere on the field. Not only is he a great kick returner, but he has shown that he can get it done from the WR position.
On the year so far, he has 24 receptions, 435 yards and two touchdowns. Of those 24 catches, 18 went for a first down. Ten of those were for at least 20 yards and three were for at least 40 yards. He also has produced when given the ball in the backfield. He has eight attempts for 133 yards, including a 71 yard touchdown. No doubt, he makes the most of his opportunities.
Jacoby Ford, in my opinion, is one of the biggest Pro Bowl snubs this year. The guy that made it ahead of Ford was Tennessee Titans KR Marc Mariani. He had 167 more KR yards than Ford—which isn't that much of a difference at about 11 yards per game.
Jacoby Ford had three returns for TDs, while Mariani only had one. Ford had four returns of at least 40 yards, while Mariani had three in that category. Mariani averaged 25.2 per kick return, while Ford averaged 24.4.
As you can see, their numbers aren't that different, but Jacoby Ford's three TDs on kick returns should have gotten him into the Pro Bowl over Mariani.
What do you think? Did Jacoby Ford deserve to represent the AFC as their KR in the Pro Bowl?
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