After breaking the NFL Combine’s 40-yard dash record earlier this month, it became a virtual certainty that selecting John Ross would be an immediate priority for more than a few NFL teams. That perception became reality today when the Cincinnati Bengals selected John Ross with the ninth overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
With the #9 overall pick, the @Bengals select WR @WatchJRoss!#NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/kWhGrlc8Ju— NFL (@NFL) April 28, 2017
Congrats to @WatchJRoss Ninth selection in the 2017 NFL Draft! #NFLDraft #Bengals #PurpleReign pic.twitter.com/BpSpdpfo82— UW FB Recruiting (@PurpleReign_UW) April 28, 2017
Even before his record-setting performance in the Combine, Ross had inserted himself squarely into the first-round conversation on the strength of his 2016 redshirt junior season, during which he accounted for 17 touchdowns (tied with Oklahoma’s Dede Westbrook for best among Power 5 players) and 1,150 yards on 81 receptions. He capped his season by earning first-team All-American recognition from ESPN and Scout.com, and was a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award presented to the best wide receiver in college football. Ross is also an exceptional special teams player, having returned four kickoffs for touchdowns during his three-year playing career at Washington, and could legitimately become an immediate impact player at that role in the NFL.
If there is anything for Bengals fans to be concerned with in regard to Ross, it is surely his injury history that includes multiple knee operations, including one that held him out of action for the entirety of the 2015 season. Ross also underwent shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum following the Combine.
Check out highlights of Ross’ college career at Washington below.