Giants’ receiver John Ross details where he needs to improve to reach his potential

New York Giants, John Ross

When wide receiver John Ross was first drafted out of Washington University in 2017, he was expected to be one of the most lethal offensive weapons in the class. However, his career hasn’t lived up to expectations thus far, having signed a one-year, $2.25 million prove-it deal with the New York Giants this off-season.

Ross, who has never played in all 16 games, featuring in a career-high 13 games back in 2018, is looking to prove his health and availability this upcoming year.

“My story is obviously out there. I think my biggest thing isn’t my ability, it’s my availability and me being healthy. You can tell when I’m not healthy, you can see when things aren’t going right, and I think that’s my biggest thing. I haven’t played 16 games yet and I’m going on my fifth year. I think that says a lot and that’s a big deal,” Ross said.

Last season with Cincinnati, Ross made just three appearances, tallying 17 yards on two receptions. His best season to date came in 2019 when he posted 506 yards and three touchdowns over eight games.

Despite being labeled a bust up to this point, the Giants do see him as a play-making weapon this upcoming season. Aside from blazing speed, he has the ability to put his foot in the ground and change direction in the blink of an eye. During practice on Saturday, Ross took a basic slant route to the house, blowing the defense away with his speed.

Head coach Joe Judge has been vocal about his confidence in Ross, specifically how they can deploy him this upcoming year and what GM Dave Gettleman would call “a touchdown maker.”

“I think the one thing that he’s really demonstrated early on right now is his ability to control his speed. That he’s not a fast, out-of-control player, but he’s got the ability to run fast, threaten you deep and also stick his foot in the ground and redirect and come back for the ball,” Judge said. “Obviously, the speed stands out, but the work ethic and he’s coming in, he’s very down to earth, very humble guy, a great teammate.”

Ross isn’t guaranteed a roster spot, though, with several players looking to secure one of the back-end wide receiver slots on the 53 man roster. He’s currently competing with David Sills, CJ Board, Dante Pettis, Alex Bachman, and Derrick Dillon.

One of the best ways that John can make the roster is to provide value as a kick returner on the punt team. Judge loves depth pieces who can also contribute on special teams, and unless he’s able to help in that category, sticking with the Giants this upcoming season will be that much more difficult.