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John Ross Presents a Speedy Option for Teams in Need of Receivers

John Ross (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

John Ross, a wide receiver from Washington, has made himself into one of the top receivers of this draft class. While he is clearly behind Mike Williams, some NFL experts have him being taken ahead of Western Michigan’s Corey Davis.

Ross used a good effort at the combine as well as a good season in 2016 (in which he was awarded first-team All-Pac-12 and second-team All-American honors) to propel himself into the “mid-upper first round” conversation.

*The following stats come from www.sports-reference.com

2013: 13 games, 16 catches, 208 yards, 1 TD

2014: 13 games, 17 catches, 371 yards, 4 TD

2015: redshirted

2016: 14 games, 81 catches, 1150 yards, 17 TD

Ross, standing at 5’11 and 188 lbs., uses his amazing speed and athleticism to his advantage, and that is what he is known for as a receiver. Ross is a burner and is able to be a huge big play guy, as shown by his 15.2 yards per catch throughout his college career. The speed that Ross has is also able to free up routes underneath, due to Ross being able to take the top off of a defense.

By far his biggest strength is Ross’ breathtaking speed, as shown by his record-breaking performance on the 40-yard dash at the combine. He ran a 4.22 40-yard time, the fastest time ever recorded at the NFL combine.

In addition to his speed, the Washington standout also has good hands and an ability to track the ball while it is in the air. Ross also has the ability to make people miss, and he uses that to make many big plays after the catch. Combine all of his’ skills and it seems like he is a Desean Jackson type player.

However, Ross also has many weaknesses that limit his impact in a big way. One of those weaknesses is his size and strength, which both prevent Ross from playing in the physical manner that both Corey Davis and Mike Williams are able to play in. Ross also has a serious injury history, including major injuries to both of his knees, something that could scare away many teams. In addition to his lack of size and injury history, Ross smaller stature leaves him struggling to make contested catches and he also has some trouble running the short and intermediate routes.

All told, he has shown the ability to bring elite speed to the table but he has many weaknesses that speed can’t compare with. There will be many teams, however, that would still love to take the risk of drafting the sideline burner.

Ross likely won’t go in the top ten picks of the NFL draft, but he does have potential to be taken in the teens or early twenties. Teams like the Philadelphia Eagles (pick 14) or the Indianapolis Colts (pick 15) could both use speedster receivers to help open up the field for their number one receivers. The Washington Redskins (pick 17) could use a receiver to replace Desean Jackson and Pierre Garcon. The Denver Broncos (pick 20) could always use another weapon for that offense and young quarterback Trevor Siemian or Paxton Lynch.

Draft Projection: Pick 14- Pick 22 of the first round

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