John Ross 2017 NFL Draft Profile

Overview
Position:  Wide Receiver
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 188 pounds
School: Washington Huskies

Combine Performance Data
40-yard dash
: 4.22 seconds (fastest time in Combine history)
Vertical jump: 37 inches (tied for fifth among wide receivers)
Broad jump: 11 feet, 1 inch (tied for third among wide receivers)

John Ross Draft Profile

John Ross showed glimpses of what was to be as a freshman in Seattle with 200 yards receiving and more than 700 yards in kick returns to go with two touchdowns. 2014 saw increases in yards in both categories and six touchdowns, that garnered him All Pac 12 Honorable Mention status. Then he missed his third year with a torn ACL in Spring camp in 2015. How he would recover for his fourth campaign at Washington was a big unknown going into the 2016 season. He responded with 81 catches for 1,150 yards and 17 touchdowns, (second in the nation), and second team All American honors to go with his first team All Pac 12. Now, he enters the draft as an academic senior and football junior, having missed the one season with the knee injury.

Strengths

  • SPEED! His 4.22 in the 40 at the NFL combine was the stuff of legend.
  • Change of direction. DB’s are afraid of his speed and turn to sprint, leaving shorter routes open.
  • Good hands.
  • Exceptional ball tracker. Goes to the pass with strong hand-eye coordination.
  • Easy acceleration. Changes gears with little give away on the field.

Weaknesses

  • Size. Can’t do much about the height, but NFL teams will want to add some weight.
  • Can be handled at the line of scrimmage by physical corners, as Alabama did in the playoffs.
  • Has a history of going into a funk after a dropped pass.
  • Injuries to both knees in the last four years will make long-term health a question mark.

NFL Comparison:  DeSean Jackson.  Similar speed and hand ability. Jackson actually weighs a little less than Ross.

Teams with a Need at Position:  Baltimore Ravens, New Orleans Saints, Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans, Los Angeles Chargers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Detroit Lions

Projection:  Mid first round

Bottom Line

Few players at the NFL Combine created more buzz that Ross. The game film on him already showed great speed and acceleration. Once he is in a pass pattern, corners tend to fear his speed and either give him too much cushion or they open their hips too soon, ready to sprint. That leaves shorter curl routes wide open or allows for a change of direction downfield. The 4.22 in the 40 yard dash that everyone saw and tweeted about, will just add to that mental challenge for defensive backs

His size will be a concern. In the college football playoffs, Alabama set their corners to get very physical with him at the line of the scrimmage and he was held to only five catches for the game. He will also have a tougher time getting to 50-50 balls against NFL defensive backs. Still, the hand skill is undeniable, the hand-eye coordination is exceptional, and the flat out speed is already the stuff of legend. Imagine a team putting him in motion to make the line of scrimmage jam a lot harder or even using him in the slot.

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