Former Washington Huskies receiver John Ross will take his record-breaking speed to Cincinnati, taken by the Bengals with the ninth pick of the 2017 NFL Draft on Thursday.
Ross had a huge junior season in 2016, earning All-American honors by catching 81 passes for 1,150 yards (26th in the FBS) and 17 touchdowns (tied for third). He underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder this offseason, but before then he ran the fastest 40-yard dash in NFL combine history – 4.22 seconds, better than the previous record of 4.24 by current Cardinals running back Chris Johnson in 2008.
He’ll be paired up in the Bengals receiver corps with one of the best wideouts in the NFL, A.J. Green. But while Ross is no doubt an asset in the passing game, the Bengals will also be able to use him on special teams. Ross showed he was a weapon as a returner for the Huskies, scoring four return touchdowns in three seasons.
Ross sat out the 2015 season following surgery for a torn ACL, but his 40 time at the combine proved that is no longer an issue.
“My head almost came off my shoulders,” Ross said about being taken ninth in a phone interview with Cincinnati reporters. “I felt like I was a top ten player, but I know there were concerns about my injuries.”
Though he was one of four Huskies to be projected in mock drafts to be selected in the first round, he was the only one actually selected on Day 1. Defensive backs Budda Baker, Kevin King and Sidney Jones will all likely be targeted Friday. King has been a rumored pick for the Seahawks’ pick at No. 26, and he may still be taken by them after they traded back twice and now have two picks in the second round and four in the third.
Blessings! God is undefeated! Thankful. Time to work! pic.twitter.com/Q7UL02z2wj
— John Ross III (@WatchJRoss) April 28, 2017