Heading into the 2017 NFL Draft, John Ross was considered among the top three receivers in the draft class. And, his selection with the No. 9 overall pick made him the third receiver drafted that evening.
Ross joins a Bengals roster that’s now loaded with offensive talent, when considering A.J. Green is the team’s No. 1 wide receiver and Tyler Eifert the starting tight end. Joe Mixon was also added to the team one round after Ross’ selection, and he’ll join the current running back duo of Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill.
Coming into the draft, Ross was best known for his blazing speed as he set the NFL Combine record for the 40-yard dash with a 4.22 second time.
So, what did NFL scouts think about Ross ahead of the draft? Each year, Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes a pre-draft column featuring the thoughts and comments from anonymous scouts around the NFL. In his column for the wide receiver group, Ross ranked third among the top receivers in the draft and four anonymous scouts weighed in on his NFL potential. Here’s what they had to say.
JOHN ROSS, Washington
1. “He’ll be in that DeSean Jackson mold,” said one scout. “He’s a burner but he’s also skilled. He is extremely explosive and he’s got very good body control through the route.”
2. “Those small wideouts, they have a hard time surviving long-term,” said another scout.
3. “The speed is wonderful but I do have doubts,” a third scout said. “Is he fragile is the question. He’s very clean off the field. Injuries are a concern.”
4. “If you want that speed element, more of a playmaker, he’s the guy,” said a fourth scout.
Ross’ injury concerns, which include microfracture surgery due to a torn meniscus, a torn ACL and a currently recovering shoulder injury, make him a potentially risky candidate for a top 10 draft pick. But, the Bengals have made it known they did their due diligence in vetting Ross’ health, and still believe he’s worthy of the top 10 pick with which he was selected.