Leading the Washington Huskies throughout the year during the Playoff run was their stout defense they put together. However, they wouldn’t have gotten there had it not of been for the explosive playmaking ability of John Ross III. Ross possesses top-end speed and is absolutely electric with the ball in his hands. A team is sure to covet a playmaker of his caliber, but how early is he worth drafting?
Name: John Ross III
Class: Junior (RS)
Draft Grade: 3rd Round
Positives: Proportioned body. Height to weight ratio looks ideal. Strong frame. Good bulk in his hips, backside, and strong calves. Looks to have good hand size. Completely transformed his body in college. Has lightning speed. Explosive lower-body agility. Feet hop and skip like they’re on hot coals. Can drop his hips and explode when changing direction. Stop to start quickness out of his breaks is outstanding. A smooth athlete with no stiffness. When he falls down springs back up like a cat. Electric after the catch with great field vision and eyes in the back of his head. Never gives up when being tackled and fights like a fish out of water to break free. Middle of the field toughness. Doesn’t let himself get disconnected from the ball. Excellent contact balance. Consistent hands. Tracks the ball over his head and always puts the baby in the cradle on deep throws. Can go up and reel in the one-handed catch. Works hard to get the ball. Good sideline awareness to make the difficult grab and keep his feet in. Outstanding special teams production as a returner. Positional coach loved him. An active learner who wants to be great. Spent his off year transforming his body and studying the game. Mature. No off-field concerns.
Negatives: Average size and arm length. Lacks a great catch radius. Raw on the finer points of the game and needs to keep working on route-running, ball security, and blocking fundamentals. A man without a plan as a blocker and the enthusiasm for it just not there and may never be a strength. Ross’s game is predicated on violent cuts and also plays the game physically, that coupled with his lack of size make his long-term durability especially questionable. Injury history is troubling with knee surgeries on both knees. Combine medical evaluation will be very important.
Outlook: John Ross III is the most electric underclassman in this year’s group of receivers and is a rather late arrival to most people due to playing cornerback and dealing with knee injuries earlier in his college career. Ross is essentially like a video-game on the field with great speed, agility, foot quickness and field vision with the added bonus of having consistent hands and great football character. Ross has managed to stay healthy the last couple of years since adding weight to his body but his past injuries loom over him. Right now his best value is at the top of the third round but will rise with good news at the combine.