Route running in the NFL is crucial, because timing is critical in pro passing offenses. We’ve all seen what Jameis Winston can do when improvising for the Buccaneers, but this certainly isn’t the preferred method of getting his guys the ball.
Instead, this team needs to forge relationships between passer and receiver where the thrower can rely on his guy to be where he needs to be, and the guy catching the ball can get there for his gunslinger to be able to trust him.
Ross is certainly quicker off the line, as Davis has a tell-tale stutter step at the line of scrimmage before he gets off.
This natural delay in Davis’ release creates a self-inflicted delay which means he has to get into his route cleanly or the entire play is thrown off and the quarterback will almost always have to look elsewhere.
However, the Broncos receiver has added some size and strength to his resume in the last year and this helps him ensure he’s on time for his passer. Adding some more size and some more strength can turn him into more of the Demaryius Thomas mold I compared him to in my scouting report of the Senior receiver.
Also, he was taught to stutter step out of the blocks, he can be coached not to as well if Koetter’s offense deems it necessary to eliminate.
The speedier University of Washington product would bring the Buccaneers a faster release off the line as most defenders see it fit to back their corners off of Ross because he is so capable of taking advantage of overly aggressive coverage.
However, at the NFL level, aggressive corner play is often times done with over-the-top safety help and against teams with effective coverage at both positions Ross will certainly struggle.
Look at the Peach Bowl for a prime example of this. Against Alabama the Crimson Tide used press coverage to delay Ross off the line of scrimmage which was effective due to his lack of size and inherent strength.
Once the timing was knocked off balance, they also had the deep help necessary to prevent him from getting a free release down field where his quarterback could simply loft the ball downfield for him to run under.
The result: 5 catches, 28 yards and no touchdowns.