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Bengals Bytes (5/7): John Ross still has a chance to change the narrative from his rookie season

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It has been easy to forget about John Ross after a rookie season where he failed to even catch a pass, but he will have the chance to change all of that in 2018.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Indianapolis Colts Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

3 top 10 picks from last year who need big step forward
As frustrating as Corey Davis’ 2017 season was, John Ross would gladly trade places. Ross finished the year without a catch, entering the stat sheet for just 2 targets, 1 rush for 12 yards… and a fumble on that carry. Playing in just three games in 2017, Ross was one of the biggest disappointments of the 2017 class. Things became so bad in Cincinnati that Ross was at times a healthy scratch and had received some consideration from the coaching staff to be called upon to play cornerback. That isn’t a great way to kick off a career.

John Ross’ ‘story is not written,’ says Duke Tobin
It’s easy to forget the Cincinnati Bengals have a top-10 pick from a year ago on the roster. The John Ross story so far boils down to his entering the NFL injured and trying to fight through it with a franchise that typically leans conservative and plays veterans over younger guys.

Making sense of Mark Walton
The Cincinnati Bengals drafted Miami running back Mark Walton in the fourth-round of the 2018 NFL Draft surprising many fans. The surprise had nothing to do with questioning his talent but as to why the Bengals were grabbing a running back when there were still other needs on the roster. While running back was not the most significant need for the Bengals, it’s unlikely they would have found a starter with immediate impact in one of those position groups on day three.

UDFA Ja'von Rolland-Jones fights for Bengals roster
Following the conclusion of the 2018 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals signed undrafted free agents who were not able to hear their names called on the special weekend. One of the young players Cincinnati is bringing in is Arkansas State edge rusher Ja’von Rolland-Jones. Putting up outstanding numbers in college, the question is whether he can do it against higher competition and if his combine scores were enough to make him undrafted.

Bengals flirt with NFL-worst status in new NFL power rankings after 2018 NFL draft
Despite what seems like a strong draft, reliance on risky players has the Cincinnati Bengals nearly bottoming out in a set of post-2018 NFL draft power rankings. While one of the league’s more talented teams on paper, hinging the majority of hopes of players who miss plenty of games keeps the Bengals around the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns at No. 28 in new rankings.

AFC North Bytes

Antonio Callaway admits failing drug test at NFL Scouting Combine
Cleveland Browns rookie wide receiver Antonio Callaway has had a lengthy history of checkered behavior on his way to the NFL. He’s hoping his failed drug test at the NFL Scouting Combine in February is the last one. Callaway admitted to being guilty of having a diluted urine sample at the combine, which is equal to a failed test.

Mason Rudolph on Roethlisberger: I’d say same thing if I were him
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said last week that he was surprised that the team took quarterback Mason Rudolph in the third round of the draft because he thought they could use players who can help the team now more than one who will be on the sideline if all goes according to plan.

Random Bytes

Tom Brady and Bill Belichick Don't Need to Be Close for the Patriots to Win
The first sign there was trouble in the Super Bowl factory came in January. That's when a bombshell report by ESPN's Seth Wickersham hit. It was an explosive story. It stated there were rifts between Patriots owner Robert Kraft, coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady. It suggested that last season, which ended in a Super Bowl loss to Philadelphia, might be the last one together for the group.

Packers' Mike McCarthy: DeShone Kizer Would've Been 1st-Round Pick in 2018 Draft
Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy believes in his team's new backup quarterback. "He has starter ability in this league. Clearly," McCarthy said of DeShone Kizer, per Zach Kruse of USA Today's Packers Wire. "In my opinion, if he was in that class this year, he would have been part of the first five quarterbacks, the first-round guys. He has exceptional arm talent."

Earl Thomas Skipping OTAs, Pete Carroll Unsure When Seahawks Star Will Join
Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas has yet to appear for the team's offseason workout program, and Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll confirmed it's unclear when the six-time Pro Bowler will formally report. "We'll find out. We've got to communicate," Carroll said Sunday, per's Brady Henderson. "Phase 2 doesn't look like it's suiting him right now, so we'll see, we'll see what's happening. Phase 3 is around the corner for us, so we'll see. We've got one more week of Phase 2."