With Washington wide receiver John Ross's speed certainly not being an issue as he approaches his NFL dream, he now wants build him up smarts when stepping onto a professional field.
Becoming faster as a team is something that NFL coaches and GMs always try and address each offseason. The league is getting faster every year and wide receiver John Ross out of Washington will definitely make any team that selects him quicker on the dot.
“Speed is definitely a strength,” Ross said with a smile. “I was gifted with speed. So I just used it the best I can.”
Ross’s national recognition quickly sprung after his speed was showcased, but the Long Beach, Calif., native doesn’t want to be known as a one-dimensional player.
“A guy who can move around,” Ross said of versatility as a weapon. “Play different [wide receiver] positions. Play everything being explosive, really. I don't want to be known as just a guy who can go deep. I want to be able to do a lot of things in my game. I don't want to be known as just a guy who can go deep. I want to be able to do a lot of things in my game.”
At only 5-foot-11 and 188 pounds, some draft evaluators question if the receiver’s size could pose problems handling the physicality of the NFL.
But Ross looks at the upward trend of successful smaller receivers in the league, many who he has been compared to in recent months.
During his sophomore season, it appeared that the young receiver was coming into his own after a few noticeable performances, including a game against California where he caught four passes for 118 yards and a touchdown. But two torn meniscuses followed by knee surgeries prevented him from playing the entire season in 2015.
Ross, however, didn’t let the injury get him down, as he came back stronger than ever for the 2016 season. The speedster caught 81 passes for 1,150 yards and 17 touchdowns during his monster campaign, setting himself apart from some of the best competition in all of college football. He also finished the year with 2,069 kick return yards and four return touchdowns.
With the NFL Draft getting closer every single day, there isn’t much questioned about the receiver’s athleticism, but Ross wants to use the remaining days to gain insight on how to become a smarter football player.
"I have to be able to know how to read deep coverages," Ross said. "I have to be smart and basically work on my craft every single day to get better.”