With the ninth overall pick, the Cincinnati Bengals shocked many with the selection of wide receiver John Ross. While Ross is certainly a talented player, this was certainly a reach for Bengals with the ninth pick.
In addition to it being a reach, wide receiver wasn’t considered to be a big need for the Bengals. However, adding Ross gives the Bengals’ offense another weapon to take attention away from A.J. Green.
At Washington, Ross had a very strong junior season, as he was able to total 81 receptions, 1,150 receiving yards, and eight receiving touchdowns. The strong 2016 season came one year after Ross missed the entire 2015 season because of injury.
Ross brings excellent speed, but his lack of size could be a concern for Bengals. With players in the NFL being faster than college players, Ross must do a good job protecting himself from monster hits.
He should be able to help the Bengals stretch the field on offense, but his real value might come on special teams. In 2016, Ross averaged nearly 25 yards per kick return, which is extremely impressive. For the Bengals, the addition of Ross helps, but reaching in the NFL Draft is never a good thing for a team in the Top 10.
Ziegler’s grade: C