John Ross blew everyone’s mind with his blazing speed at the college level and the NFL Combine last year. His first year in the pros didn’t exactly go well. He finally showed some promise in preseason and could be ready for a breakout season.
Ross was once known as the most explosive wide receiver in college football. At the University of Washington, he put his skills on display every week. Not only did he have speed, but he also great at making people miss after the catch.
The Cincinnati Bengals were impressive with Ross so much, they drafted him higher in the 1st round than experts projected him. They thought he would pair well with AJ Green and Andy Dalton. That moment was special because it’s a reminder of how far he has come. Before he made it to the pros, he had to overcome a string of injuries.
In 2014, Ross had two meniscus tears in his right knee. In 2015, he re-injured the same knee and had a grade 3 torn anterior cruciate ligament. Fortunately, he bounced back the following season. Ross racked up 80 catches, over 1,000 yards, and 17 touchdowns. Not to mention having a touchdown in the return game as well.
The Bengals knew about John’s injury history, but they were confident that he would be an impact player at the next level. At the combine, the broke the 40-yard time record and ran a 4.22. Many thought that Ross was destined to take the top of defenses from day one. That was not the case.
In Ross’s first season, he had zero catches and played 17 snaps the entire season. He had the least amount of snaps than any offensive player in the 2017 draft. John didn’t have much of a training camp while recovering from a torn labrum. “Last year, I was just down, not being able to run full speed, not being able to do everything in the weight room.”
This season is different for Ross. He’s had a full offseason under his belt and fully healthy. John Ross finally broke loose against the Buffalo Bills in a preseason game.
If Ross does that every Sunday, he will find himself in the Pro Bowl. AJ Green is guaranteed to get double teamed which will leave one on one coverage for Ross. This season will be the year the former UW Husky will put his defenders on skates.