The Bengals have been interested in Ross ever since his blazing 40-yard dash at the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine. Ross clocked in at 4.22 seconds in the 40-yard dash, breaking running back Chris Johnson's previous record of 4.24.
Ross caught 81 passes for 1,150 yards and 17 touchdowns last season as one of the most explosive players in college football. He averaged 14.2 yards per catch and also had 8 rushing attempts for 102 yards and 1 touchdown.
A four year player at Washington, Ross had 16 catches for 208 yards and 1 in his freshman year and 17 catches for 371 yards and 4 touchdowns in his sophomore year. He missed entire 2015 season at Washington (his junior year) after suffering a torn ACL during a spring practice that year, so he’s already a bit banged up coming into the NFL.
Another negative with Ross is that he underwent shoulder surgery on March 14, which could keep him sidelined into training camp. But, the Bengals have given him a clean bill of health and head coach Marvin Lewis confirmed that again today after Ross was drafted.
Ross had visited the Bengals in recent weeks and said he was very interested in playing for the team.
"Honestly, he gives me coach Petersen vibes. The way they build a brotherhood in their locker rooms, and the way everyone's treated with respect, it sounded familiar," Ross told Chase Goodbread of NFL.com of Lewis. "He's got an open-door policy just like coach Petersen. Anyone can come to him. He talked about playing fast."
"I would love to play for him," Ross continued saying of Lewis and the Bengals. "I liked all the coaches I met through this process, but I had a longer talk with coach Lewis than probably anyone else, just getting a feel for the way he goes about things."
The Bengals now have the fastest player in the NFL on their roster and have filled a major need by getting a player who can stretch the field.
How do you grade the Bengals’ Round 1 draft selection of John Ross?
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The Bengals’ remaining draft needs are:
DE, RB, LB, C, OT, OG, K
Here’s a rundown of every pick the Bengals hold in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Bengals 2017 NFL Draft Picks
|Round 1||Pick 9|
|Round 2||Pick 48|
|Round 3||Pick 73|
|Round 4||Pick 116|
|Round 4||Pick 128**|
|Round 4||Pick 138*|
|Round 5||Pick 153|
|Round 5||Pick 176*|
|Round 6||Pick 193|
|Round 6||Pick 207**|
|Round 7||Pick 251*|
NFL Draft schedule:
Round 1: 8 p.m. ET, Thursday, April 27: (10 minutes per pick)
Rounds 2-3: 7 p.m. ET, Friday, April 28: (Round 2 - 7 minutes per pick, Round 3 – 5 minutes per pick)
Rounds 4-7: 12 p.m. ET, Saturday, April 29: (Rounds 4-6 – 5 minutes per pick, Round 7 - 4 minutes per pick)
Here’s a link to the full seven-round NFL Draft order and live draft tracker!
What do you think of the Cincinnati Bengals’ Round 1 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft?