John Ross (American football)

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John Ross
No. 15 – Cincinnati Bengals
Position: Wide receiver
Personal information
Born: (1994-11-27) November 27, 1994 (age 23)
Long Beach, California
Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight: 188 lb (85 kg)
Career information
High school: Long Beach (CA) Jordan
College: Washington
NFL Draft: 2017 / Round: 1 / Pick: 9
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2017
Rushing attempts: 1
Rushing yards: 12
Rushing touchdowns: 0
Player stats at

John Ellis Ross III (born November 27, 1994)[3] is an American football wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at the University of Washington, and was drafted by the Bengals ninth overall in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Early years[edit]

Ross attended Jordan High School in Long Beach, California. He played wide receiver and cornerback in football and ran track. As a senior, Ross finished third in the 100 metres at the 2013 CIF Southern Section Division 1 final.[4]

Regarded as a four-star recruit by ESPN, Ross was ranked as the No. 49 overall prospect in the state of California.[5] He committed to the University of Washington to play college football.[6]

College career[edit]

Ross played in all 13 games as a true freshman at Washington in 2013. He finished the year with 16 receptions for 208 yards and one touchdown as a receiver and had 720 kick return yards and a touchdown.[7] In 2014, he played in 13 of 14 games, with seven starts as a receiver and four as a cornerback. That season, he had 17 receptions for 371 yards and four touchdowns as a receiver, 12 tackles and an interception as a cornerback, and had 938 return yards and two touchdowns.[8][9] Ross missed the 2015 season after suffering a torn ACL during spring practices.[10] Ross returned from the injury in 2016 and had five receptions for 90 yards with two receiving touchdowns and a kick return touchdown in his first game back against Rutgers.[11][12][13] On January 3, 2017, Ross announced his decision to forego his senior season and enter the NFL Draft.[14] On February 10, 2017, it was revealed that Ross was diagnosed with a torn labrum in his shoulder. He injured his shoulder earlier during the 2016 season, and re-aggravated it on December 31 in a loss against Alabama in the 2016 Peach Bowl in the College Football Playoff. The injury required surgery, but Ross decided to put it on hold until after the NFL Scouting Combine and pro day workouts.[15]

College statistics[edit]

Year Team GP Rec Yards TDs
2013 Washington 13 16 208 1
2014 Washington 13 17 371 4
2015 Washington
Medical redshirt
2016 Washington 13 76 1,122 17
College totals 39 109 1,701 22

Professional career[edit]

Coming out of college, Ross was predicted to be selected in the first round by draft experts and analysts. He was considered one of the top wide receivers and was ranked the second best by NFL analyst Bucky Brooks before the combine.[16] As a top wide receiver prospect, he received an invitation to the NFL Combine and broke Chris Johnson's 4.24 record time in the 40-yard dash. Ross finished with a 4.22, but strained his calves while pulling up at the end of his run. The calf injuries hindered his ability to complete all the set combine drills or run his second attempt at the 40-yard dash.[17][18] Ross attended Washington's Pro Day, but only ran positional drills. The next day, he had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder.[19] He was ranked as the third best wide receiver prospect in the draft by ESPN and was ranked the second best wide receiver prospect by Sports Illustrated and[20][21]

External video
John Ross' NFL Combine workout
John Ross' 40-yard dash
Ross' NFL Combine Press Conference
John Ross' Washington Pro Day workout
Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad
5 ft 11 in
(1.80 m)
190 lb
(86 kg)
31 12 in
(0.80 m)
8 34 in
(0.22 m)
4.22 s 37 in
(0.94 m)
11 ft 1 in
(3.38 m)
All values from NFL Combine[22]

The Cincinnati Bengals selected Ross in the first round (9th overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft.[23] He was the third wide receiver to be selected after Corey Davis and Mike Williams.

External video
Bengals select John Ross ninth overall
John Ross' NFL Draft interview

On May 7, 2017, the Cincinnati Bengals signed Ross to a four-year, $17.1 million contract with a signing bonus of $10.6 million.[24][25]

Ross competed with Brandon LaFell, Cody Core, Tyler Boyd, and Josh Malone throughout training camp to be the starting wide receiver alongside A. J. Green. Although he was a first round pick, head coach Marvin Lewis named him the sixth wide receiver on the depth chart to begin the regular season.[26]

On September 14, 2017, Ross made his professional regular season debut on Thursday Night Football against the Houston Texans after missing the season-opener due to a knee injury. He fumbled his first and only carry of the game, and was subsequently benched after gaining only 12 rushing yards as the Bengals lost 13–9.[27] That carry proved to be his only touch of his rookie season, as he was only active for two out of the next 10 games and did not record any statistics. A knee injury caused him to miss Weeks 3-5 while the rest were healthy scratches. He was placed on injured reserve on December 4, 2017 with a shoulder injury, ending his rookie season.[28] His debut season was variously described as "wasted",[29] "disappointing"[30] and "disastrous",[31] with Marvin Lewis coming under a lot of criticism for his management of Ross.


  1. ^ Pac-12 Football Awards And All-Conference Team Announced. (November 29, 2016). Retrieved on January 2, 2017.
  2. ^ Washington leads AP All-Pac-12 team with 6 players. Retrieved on January 2, 2017.
  3. ^ "John Ross". Retrieved 2017-12-20. 
  4. ^ "CIF-SS Division 1 Finals - Track & Field Meet". 
  5. ^ "John Ross - Football Recruiting - Player Profiles - ESPN". 
  6. ^ Guardabascio, Mike (January 4, 2013) Football: Jordan’s John Ross Commits To Washington | Jordan. Retrieved on January 2, 2017.
  7. ^ "John Ross 2013 Game Log". College Football at Retrieved 2017-11-14. 
  8. ^ "John Ross 2014 Game Log". College Football at Retrieved 2017-11-14. 
  9. ^ John Ross making the most of spring return to Washington Huskies – Pac-12 Blog. ESPN (April 13, 2016). Retrieved on January 2, 2017.
  10. ^ University of Washington wide receiver John Ross III will miss 2015 season with leg injury. The News Tribune (May 7, 2015). Retrieved on January 2, 2017.
  11. ^ "Rutgers at Washington Box Score, September 3, 2016". College Football at Retrieved 2017-11-14. 
  12. ^ Huskies’ John Ross returns in storybook fashion. The Seattle Times (September 3, 2016). Retrieved on January 2, 2017.
  13. ^ After recovering from torn ACL, UW’s Ross turns dream into reality. (September 3, 2016). Retrieved on January 2, 2017.
  14. ^ "Washington Huskies". Washington Huskies. 
  15. ^ Goodbread, Chase. "John Ross to undergo shoulder surgery after combine, pro day". NFL. Retrieved February 10, 2017. 
  16. ^ Bucky Brooks (January 18, 2017). "Top 5 2017 NFL Draft prospects by position". Retrieved May 17, 2017. 
  17. ^ "John Ross III runs 40-yard dash in record 4.22 seconds at NFL Combine". Sportsnet. March 4, 2017. Retrieved March 4, 2017. 
  18. ^ Chase Goodbread (March 4, 2017). "John Ross runs 4.22 40-yard dash, breaks Chris Johnson's record". Retrieved May 17, 2017. 
  19. ^ "*John Ross, DS #2 WR, Washington". Retrieved May 17, 2017. 
  20. ^ Jeff Legwold (April 22, 2017). "Ranking 2017 Draft's Top 100 Players". Retrieved May 17, 2017. 
  21. ^ Chris Burke (April 24, 2017). "2017 NFL draft rankings: Top prospects by position". Retrieved May 17, 2017. 
  22. ^ "NFL Events: Combine Player Profiles - John Ross". 
  23. ^ Orr, Conor (April 27, 2017). "Bengals take 40-yard dash champion John Ross". 
  24. ^ Hagemann, Andie. "John Ross signs rookie contract". NFL. Retrieved May 7, 2017. 
  25. ^ Orr, Conor. "John Ross tired of defending medical history". NFL. Retrieved May 16, 2017. 
  26. ^ "Cincinnati Bengals: Depth chart". Retrieved November 2, 2017. 
  27. ^ "John Ross fumbles, benched in first NFL game". Fantasy Pros. Retrieved September 15, 2017. 
  28. ^ Marcum, Jason (December 6, 2017). "Bengals place John Ross on Injured Reserve". 
  29. ^ Cosenza, Anthony (December 9, 2017). "Conspiracy theories surrounding the wasted rookie season of John Ross". Cincy Jungle. SB Nation. Retrieved 5 January 2018. 
  30. ^ Terrell, Katherine (November 9, 2017). "From No. 9 overall to healthy scratch: John Ross' disappointing rookie season". ESPN. Retrieved 5 January 2018. 
  31. ^ Breech, John (December 6, 2017). "Bengals place 2017 first-rounder John Ross on IR after disastrous rookie season". Retrieved 5 January 2018. 

External links[edit]