In Draft Roundup I’ll scour the web and find out who is projected to be drafted by the Packers in recent mock drafts and dig deep into the players, giving you insights into the 2017 NFL Draft prospects.
Andrew Hanlon – Lombardi Ave
John Ross, WR, Washington
5’11 188, 4.22 (40), 37″ (vert), 133″ (broad)
My first thought, and I’m sure I’m not alone, is that John Ross will probably not be around at 29. My second is also probably not a unique thought, why would the Packers take a wide receiver in the first round?
Regardless, the point of this isn’t to tell you what I think, it’s to give insights into players that others mock to the Packers. In the meantime we all get to learn a little bit about the guys that will be playing in the NFL in a few months. If nothing else it may help your chances in fantasy.
All that said, isn’t there a small part of you that wants this to happen? Isn’t there a small piece that is tired of giving first round draft picks to Dom Capers? Doesn’t just the smallest part want Aaron Rodgers to get a few first round toys to play with?
Let’s all just let our guard down for a second and embrace the possibility of a first round receiver. You might just find that you like it.
About John Ross
John Ross was an ESPN 4 star recruit out of Jordan HS in Long Beach California. At Jordan, Ross played both WR and CB, as well as being a track star, big shock.
As a freshman, Ross started all 13 games but had a minimal impact as a wide receiver catching 16 balls for 208 yards and a touchdown.
His sophomore year, Ross split time between wide receiver and corner. As a receiver he caught 17 passes for 371 yards and 4 touchdowns. He also added 12 tackles and a pick playing corner.
In 2015, Ross missed the entire season to a torn ACL but returned in 2016 to become a powerhouse at wide receiver. Ross blew away the numbers in his first 2 seasons with 76 receptions for 1,122 yards and 17 touchdowns.
In his 3 years at Washington, Ross also returned 86 kickoffs for 2,069 yards (24 yard average), and 4 touchdowns.
John Ross is the number 1 target at Washington. Something tells me in Green Bay, with Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams, and Martellus Bennett on the field, John Ross won’t be the main focus for defensive coordinators. That said, John Ross demands a lot of attention.
Notice how early the quarterback releases the ball. It’s simple. John Ross is the fastest man on the field. If you aren’t going to bring a safety over the top and I see John shoulder to shoulder with the corner, it’s game over.
If the QB is able to put the ball in the right spot, he’ll kill you every play.
Case and point, here was the very next offensive play from scrimmage.
Every play that Ross is on the field, you have to have someone over the top of him.
Typically if you want to get open in the NFL you need to either be faster, stronger, or a better route runner then the defense can handle. There is another way, though. You can scare the defense into playing like garbage.
Similar to how a mobile quarterback will keep pass rushers playing contain, a speed demon at wide receiver will send corners running away from him to keep from being burned.
The benefit of that is his ability to be wide open on short routes. No need to be quick out of your break when the corners flip their hips and run at the snap of the ball.
Below, Ross is at the top with the corner already giving him a huge cushion.
When the ball is released, the corner is 8 yards away. Ross has the time to turn up the field for an 11 yard gain. The very next play, Ross runs 10 yards down the field. The corner is 7 yards away and it’s another easy first down.
If a particular defense is lacking speed in their corners they will have no choice but to either give him a cushion or bring extra help. Either of which is a nightmare against the Packers,
Randall Cobb is probably the best return man on the team but the risk of injury was just too high. Considering Ross would be a little way down the depth chart, his first job would more than likely be as a return man.
That’s a positive because he’s done it before and is pretty good at it. His straight line speed would probably make him a kick returner.
He’ll need a lane but given his breakaway speed, if he has one he’s gone.
Ross, according to the unofficial reports I found, did alright in the 3 cone drill. Still there are some concerns of his ability to make cuts. NFL.com made the comment that he will occasionally stumble or fall over nothing at all.
I’ve seen a few examples but the only real clear example I’ve seen he was hurt on the play. Either way, his strength is his speed. Whether it be a straight shot down the field or a quick slant, he can afford to not be the best route runner and still be an elite weapon in the NFL.
This pick is probably the most unlikely of all the draft roundup articles I’ve done so far. After breaking the record for fastest official 40 time, Ross most likely will never see pick 29.
Beyond that, although the Packers are known for drafting best player available, I don’t think anyone believes that need doesn’t factor into the BPA formula. Would the Packers draft a quarterback in the first round if he was the next highest graded player on their board? No they wouldn’t.
Finally, The problem the Packers have really isn’t speed. Despite the receivers being 6’3 220 pound monsters, the issue with the Packers wide recievers is their inability to get off of press man coverage. At 5’11 188 pounds, Ross isn’t the kind of guy you draft to fix that problem. JuJu, maybe. Ross, no.
Still, Ross is a matchup guy. He is going to create problems for defensive coordinators and if the defense is caught sleeping, Ross will make you pay. SImilar to DeSean Jackson, you might not see him all game and then, boom, 75 yard touchdown.
Ross may not exactly fill a huge need but he would get me to jump out of my chair if his name was called on draft day.