Wide Receiver John Ross Is DeSean Jackson II (only younger)

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NCAA Football: Portland State at Washington
NCAA Football: Portland State at Washington /

All You Need To Know

John Ross is capable of scoring any time he touches the football. In 2016, Ross caught 81 passes for 1,150 yards for a 14.2 yard average, and converted 17 of those passes into touchdowns. But he also ran the ball eight times for 102 yards for a 12.8 yards per carry average, and rushed for a touchdown. In fact, his college career look like this:

  • Year   Rec    Yds   Y/Rec  TD Rush Yds Y/Rush TD
  • 2016   81  1150   14.2   17        8  102 12.8       1
  • 2014   17    371    21.8     4        6    54    9.0       1
  • 2013   16    208    13.0     1        6    39    6.5       0

While he hadn’t exploded until 2016, he emerged as soon as he became a starter for the Washington Huskies.

Strengths

If you have the need for speed, this is the wide receiver for you. From the moment the ball is snapped, he challenges the corner and the safety over the top. His speed is respected, but underestimated frequently. His first move is lightning quick, and if he gets past the defender they simply never close. But his speed is worth more than receiver. He is an immediate upgrade to any special teams unit looking to turn kickoff or punt returns into points.

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He tracks the ball very well, adjusting his route to arrive at the football’s arc as it reaches the point it can be caught. He also has quick clean breaks, rare for a speedster. He also boasts reliable hands, quick feet, and great vision which follows the ball to his hands. He can be rolled into a team’s run game with end-arounds with deadly effectiveness.

Weaknesses

He has the same weaknesses as a greyhound or a race horse. Fast means the perception of fragility.  His 2014-2015 injury has only emphasized the concern.  The textbook defense of a speedster is to jam him at the line. Ross will need to develop counters to avoid getting tied-up at the line.

He’s slightly undersized (under 6 feet tall) for a true slam dunk wide receiver.  Due to his size, he must prove the ability to win contested passes when fighting with a defender.

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NFL Draft Projection: Mid to Late First Round

In a debate of speed over size, NFL speed wins every time. Just look at DeSean Jackson.