Drafting Buccaneers: John Ross (WR) Scouting Report
The Buccaneers certainly have needs to fill, and wide receiver John Ross from the University of Washington could help fill a big one as a day one draft selection.
It’s time to prepare for the NFL draft, as the Buccaneers season has come to a close. The NFL Combine is rapidly approaching, and player visits will be soon after. We know the Bucs are in need of another wide receiver. Let’s take a look at one possibility.
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WHO: John Ross
SCHOOL: University of Washington
HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 5’11” / 190 lbs
CLASS: RS Junior
2016 Season Stats:
- 81 Receptions / 1,150 yards / 14.2 yards per catch / 17 touchdowns
- 8 Carries / 102 yards / 12.8 yards per carry / 1 touchdown
- 17 Kickoff Returns / 24.1 yards per return / 411 yards / 1 touchdown
- Washington vs Portland State (1 catch / 10 yards / 10 ypc / 0 touchdown)
- Washington @ Cal (6 catches / 208 yards / 34.7 ypc / 3 touchdowns)
- Washington vs USC (8 catches / 154 yards / 19.3 ypc / 1 touchdowns)
- *Washington @ Alabama (5 catches / 28 yards / 5.6 ypc / 0 touchdowns)
*Conference Championship or Bowl Game
- Vertical Speed to Stretch NFL Defenses
- Good Perimeter Blocker
- Doesn’t Quit on Routes / Plays
- Added Value as a Return Specialist
- Allows Passes into His Body
- Seldom Breaks Tackles
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John Ross has the ability to work quick routes from the slot as well as the speed to get up-field quickly as a deep threat on the perimeter.
In the seam, he can track the ball well and is able to get separation from defenders using a quick inside step on his release.
Best against overly aggressive man coverage with the eyes to find spots in the zone where he can sit and run after the catch.
Torn meniscus in his right knee in 2014 which didn’t cause him to miss any playing time during the season.
Following surgery before 2015, he re-aggravated the injury during the spring and missed all of 2015.
Showed no signs of long-term effect in 2016 and finished the season healthy.
Three route stud maximizing his talents on slant, screens and fly routes. Contributor on special teams as a return man.
Solid #2 receiver with the ability to exploit physical mismatches. Continued work on route running should make him a well-rounded NFL receiver at this point.
Redshirt Junior who entered the University of Washington as a four-star athelete without a specific position, but loads of physical ability.
Was initially converted to a fairly effective cornerback while excelling as a return specialist before becoming a full-time wide receiver in 2016.
John Ross is the career record holder for the Huskies with four kickoffs returned for touchdowns as well as being named a 2016 All-Pac-12 First Team member, and Semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award (awarded to the country’s most outstanding college football receiver) in the same year.
Has decent height to go with his superior speed and is stronger than 190 lbs would suggest he should be.
Capable of getting off the line quickly and uses his hands effectively in tight coverage to prevent himself from being knocked off timing and get into his routes. When defenders get too aggressive in trying to crowd him early in his route he has shown the ability to get clear of coverage and has the burst to get open behind the coverage for big plays.
Has been used as a runner with varying success, and will need good blocks ahead of him in order to get up to full-speed and take advantage of creases for solid gains in the run game.
As a blocker, is a capable blocker against similarly sized defensive backs and has demonstrated the personality and drive to block down field as well as the awareness to transition from one level to the next as the play develops behind him.
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His route running has improved every season at Washington and should continue to get better as he receives further coaching and peer mentorship.
If the play extends past his designed route he will continue to work for space and is skilled at getting back to the quarterback in order to provide an outlet for a passer on the run.
While he will allow the ball to get into his body, he rarely bobbles passes and is reliable as a receiver. Can work in open space to effectively run after the catch, but is likely to be taken down after initial contact.
In his current state, he is best used as a complimentary receiver to an already established primary target and will benefit greatly from a quarterback with the arm strength to allow him the space to get on top of coverage.
Provided he can stay healthy, he should develop into a receiver who can challenge at every level of the passing game with future All-Pro ability.
Next: Free Agents the Bucs Must Consider