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 hasnâ€™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.
â€œMy story is obviously out there. I think my biggest thing isnâ€™t my ability, itâ€™s my availability and me being healthy. You can tell when Iâ€™m not healthy, you can see when things arenâ€™t going right, and I think thatâ€™s my biggest thing. I havenâ€™t played 16 games yet and Iâ€™m going on my fifth year. I think that says a lot and thatâ€™s a big deal,â€ 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.
John Ross to the crib!! Blazing speed — if he could access some of that past talent this year, could be a huge deep threat for us! pic.twitter.com/L6UgKFie77
— Alex Wilson (@AlexWilsonESM) August 7, 2021
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 â€œa touchdown maker.â€
â€œI think the one thing that heâ€™s really demonstrated early on right now is his ability to control his speed. That heâ€™s not a fast, out-of-control player, but heâ€™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,â€ Judge said. â€œObviously, the speed stands out, but the work ethic and heâ€™s coming in, heâ€™s very down to earth, very humble guy, a great teammate.â€
Ross isnâ€™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. Heâ€™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 heâ€™s able to help in that category, sticking with the Giants this upcoming season will be that much more difficult.