The New York Jets added depth at wide receiver on Tuesday with the addition of former Oakland Raider Jacoby Ford. While the move might not have the glitz and glamour of, say, a DeSean Jackson signing, it is an acquisition that makes sense for Gang Green. Ford is a speed demon, considered to be among the fastest in the NFL, and is known as a return specialist. It’s unlikely that he’ll see any time as a starter playing receiver, but he will help pad the depth chart, and might be given the chance to compete for targets at the slot.
Ford, a fourth round pick in 2010, showed great potential as a rookie. He recorded 453 yards receiving and set the Raiders’ franchise record for most kickoff returns for a touchdown in a season with three. However, the last three years of his career have been a different story. Ford has failed to build on his rookie campaign the last few seasons, though his efforts were partially derailed with a serious Lisfranc injury in 2012. His lack of consistent production as a receiver is troublesome, but offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweig‘s West Coast offense is a good fit that could help reverse this trend.
Ford has rare, game-breaking speed — greasy, fast speed — and if Mornhinweig can develop a game plan to help get Ford in open space, he might be able to fulfill the potential people saw as a rookie. It will also be interesting to see how Ford performs next year under current Jets WR coach Sanjay Lal. Lal coached him in Oakland during the 2010 season, Ford’s most successful season by far. Perhaps a reunion is just what Ford needs to take the next step in the NFL.
Ford will not solve the Jets’ needs on offense and special teams, but he will help compete with the middle of the depth chart at WR and provide value as a returner. GM John Idzik was able to kill two birds with one stone, and was able to do so on the cheap. This type of low risk, high reward signing has come to typify the Idzik era in New York thus far.
Follow Luke Ewing on Twitter.