Ford surprised by Raiders pick, but ready to take speed show to west coast


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Jacoby Ford is the latest speedster drafted by the Oakland Raiders
Jacoby Ford is the latest speedster drafted by the Oakland Raiders

Several things come to mind when you think about the Oakland Raiders - Silver and Black, Al Davis, rowdy fans, and the old NFL Films clips of former head coach John Madden ranting on the sideline.

But the Raiders have always been about speed, too, and with that in mind, the Raiders sent a fifth-round pick and linebacker Kirk Morrison to Jacksonville last Saturday to get the 108th overall pick, and they used that pick to select former Clemson speedster Jacoby Ford.

Oakland Raiders head coach Tom Cable said Ford could start off as the team's return specialist while he develops into a pro wide receiver, saying I'm looking for that guy to see if he'll take the reins of our return game and become a guy like that for us. And I think those are the expectations early on, as we get ready to have minicamp next week and get ready for OTAs," Cable said.

Ford said he had no clue the Raiders were even interested in him, but once he got the call from Cable on Saturday telling him that he was going to be a Raider, he has been ready to head to the west coast and get his pro career started.

“I am excited; overwhelmed really,” Ford said. “I am ready to go out there and make an immediate impact wherever I can. I am really excited about getting into a new environment out in Oakland. I am sure it will be different at first, so far from my family, but I think I will do well in transition. I am excited about it.”

Ford was the fastest receiver at the NFL combine, running the 40 in 4.28 seconds. He caught 56 passes for 779 yards and six touchdowns last season for the Tigers, and also ran for two touchdowns and averaged 14.3 yards per punt return.

“The Oakland Raiders love speed,” Ford said. “He told me they were impressed with my return skills and impressed with my game and what I can bring to the table. We actually have a rookie mini-camp that starts this Friday, and I definitely think I am ready to go do something that I have been doing and getting ready for since I was six years old. I am ready to take this opportunity and run with it. This is just a blessing, and I am really excited about the whole process and beginning a new chapter in my life.”

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