Before this weekend I saw a few 2017 Mock Drafts that had John Ross III, a wide receiver prospect from the Washington Huskies, going to the Dallas Cowboys in the first round. Yesterday, Ross broke the NFL Combine’s 40-yard-dash record with a stunning 4.22 time. He may have also just broken the heart of any Cowboys fan who hoped he’d be there at the 28th pick.
While most are projecting that the Cowboys will address their defensive needs in the first round, WR is an area of major concern. Last year’s number-two and number-four receivers, Terrance Williams and Brice Butler, are unrestricted free agents. There has yet to be any indication if Dallas is wanting to bring one or both of them back.
What’s more, return specialist Lucky Whitehead’s future with the Cowboys is unclear. He did not have an exemplary year either on the field or off, getting benched for one game for missing a team meeting. Lucky’s recent Twitter activity has included some comments hinting that he’s not thrilled with Cowboys management, either.
That leaves the Cowboys with just Dez Bryant and Cole Beasley under contract outside of a handful of practice squad guys. With Bryant turning 29 this year and already slowing down a little, the need to add talent and explosiveness to the group is clear.
With that said, you can see why John Ross made sense for Dallas. He has been consistently ranked as the 2nd or 3rd-best receiver in the 2017 class. We already knew that he had great athleticism before the Combine, but now he’s going to go down in history for it.
John Ross’ Soaring Draft Stock
John Ross falling to the Cowboys before this weekend wasn’t for certain. Whether or not they’d have even taken him over their defensive needs is unknown. Now, though, they may not even get a choice.
After Tyreek Hill’s breakout season with Kansas City, John Ross is going to be favorably compared to the Chiefs’ newest weapon. He is also a little bigger than Hill at 5’11” and 190 lbs., plus brings the same versatility with experience as a special teams return man.
Clearly, Ross would make sense for Dallas. He would add a pure speed element that this offense hasn’t seen in some time, arguably since the days of Terry Glenn. He could also potentially handle the special teams duties, allowing Dallas to use Lucky Whitehead’s roster spot elsewhere.
One factor that might help keep Ross in Dallas’ range is a shoulder surgery planned for later this month. It certainly won’t knock him out of the first round and may not affect his stock at all, but it could be enough to keep John on the board for Dallas’ 28th-overall pick.
Unfortunately, John Ross could be the hottest name coming out of the Scouting Combine. If that heat carries through the first night of the draft, it’s unlikely that Dallas will get a shot at him.