Cincinnati Bengals: Wide receiver John Ross on the fast track to success
Special to Pro Football Guru
Last Thursday was the start of the most exciting period of the offseason: The NFL Draft. For the Cincinnati Bengals and the other 31 teams in the league, it's an important step.
It is also a time where those who love the game can’t wait to see who their favorite team picks to put on their uniform this upcoming season. It is also the time where those that play the game they love get to see if they will have a chance to live their ultimate dream; playing on the NFL. Most, if not all of these young men have been dreaming about this moment since they were old enough to hold a football. Well friends, that dream has come true for 32 young men yesterday. It is because of their hard work and sacrifice that they are able to now call themselves a member of the NFL.
To them we say...CONGRATULATIONS!
If you have not heard by now, the Bengals chose wide receiver John Ross III with their first pick and the draft’s ninth overall selection. If you have not heard of this young man, I am writing this article for you, friend! Who is John Ross III? Is he going to be good for Cincinnati? What did he do in college? These are common questions around this time of year.
How Ross got his start is a pretty interesting story. He was seen by Snoop Dogg (yes the rapper!) running in a parking lot and he stopped him and asked if he wanted to join his Youth League. Of course he had to get permission from his Mom because he was only nine years old. But Mom said yes and that’s how it all started. While in Snoop Youth Football League, John perfected his craft and went on to develop over three seasons.
Like, any other life story yesterday almost didn’t happen for Ross. While in high school he almost hung up his jersey for good. As seen with many young talented athletes, there is a bunch of pressure. It was during this time Ross felt that he may have been getting taken advantage of. No one likes to feel that way in any situation, I know I don’t. Luckily, we have Grandma Ross to thank for seeing his gift and pushing him to give football a fair chance.
Let’s fast forward to Ross’ committing at the University of Washington. He completed three seasons there. Ross got the opportunity to play in every game his freshman year. His tenure at Washington was not all sunshine and rainbows. Unfortunately, Ross had to sit out the 2015 season due to a torn ACL that spring. Coming off of the injury, Ross had an amazing year last season. He finished the season with 76 receptions, good for 1,122 yards and 17 touchdowns. He finished his collegiate career at Washington with 109 catches, good for 22 touchdowns.
Most recently, Ross was the 40-yard dash champion at the NFL Scouting Combine this year in Indianapolis. He finished with a 4.22. If you are like me you’re thinking ‘I can’t even put my glasses on in 4.22 seconds.’ I personally enjoy watching the 40-yard dash. It’s like seeing magic happening right in front of your eyes.
How does this help the Cincinnati Bengals? Having someone with that kind of speed is something that will benefit the Bengals greatly. When you have someone like multi-Pro Bowler A.J. Green (who ran a 4.5 in the combine) potentially getting help from someone with Ross’s speed the possibilities are endless. This is something to watch out for this upcoming season. I am personally excited to see how head coach Marvin Lewis will use this young man. He will truly be an asset to the team.