Oakland Raiders: Is Receiver Jacoby Ford Headed for a Bigger Role in 2011?

Kevin Roberts@BreakingKevinSenior Writer IApril 5, 2011

According to FOX Sports’ Adam Caplan, Jacoby Ford could be headed for a bigger role in 2011. After speaking with Oakland Raiders head coach Hue Jackson, Caplan came away with the thought that Ford could possibly be a break-out candidate in 2011.

Per Caplan, Jackson said, “Ford can be as good as any receiver in the league,” and we have to agree with him. However, his actual role and the fact that the Raiders still don’t have an elite quarterback still slightly curbs his fantasy value.

What we do know, however, is that Ford was a dynamite return man in his rookie season, putting up over 1,200 kick return yards, while taking three kicks back for scores.

Ford really came on as a receiver in Week 9, when he caught six passes for 148 yards. Following that game, Ford was able to put up one more 100+ yard game, and scored two times as a receiver down the stretch.

On the outer surface, Ford is still another speedy, raw Raiders receiver who needs things to roll his way for him to be the fantasy stud his athleticism clearly suggests he can be.

Rotoworld.com offers up the idea of having Ford start opposite of Louis Murphy and having former first-rounder Darrius Heyward-Bey being demoted. We can’t help but smile at that notion, either.

There’s no doubt Ford has immense talent, but he still has a ways to go. If his role does increase in 2011, however, he should have dual value as a growing receiver and electric return man, providing he holds onto his return duties, as well.

Ford put up over 400 yards receiving and two scores on just 25 catches as a rookie, so with a bigger role, we can see him reaching 50+ receptions and close to 1,000 yards if he obtains the bigger role Jackson is alluding to.

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