Wide Receivers have exploded in terms of yardage but the ’70s did not feature a lot of game-breakers at that or any other position. One of those exceptions was Cliff Branch
who during the mid-’70s was one of the most explosive athletes on the field.
Cliff Branch was the deep threat for the Raiders when the Silver and Black were the most feared team in the league. From 1974 to 1976, Branch would twice lead the league in receiving touchdowns and though the amount of catches he managed in that time frame seems average today, his average yards per catch holds up in any era. Branch was also part of three Super Bowl Championship teams and caught a combined three touchdowns in the wins.
Branch’s style may have been a better fit in today’s current game, but had he had one or two more dominating years (and make no mistake, he was one of the elite receivers for a three year period) he would not be considered the fringe candidate he is as opposed to the Hall threat he should be. The recent Finalist selection of the 100th Anniversary panel does show hope.
Should Cliff Branch be in the Hall of Fame?
Definitely put him in! - 92.7%
Maybe, but others deserve it first. - 3.5%
Probably not, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. - 1.4%