Is John Ross trending towards a break out year?

John Ross (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
John Ross (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Bengals were quick to shoot down a report that they were looking to trade John Ross. When looking back at Ross’s college career, history suggest the Bengals keeping Ross may lead to a huge year for him in his upcoming third season in the NFL.

There are many Bengals fans who are ready to be done with Ross. He was hurt his rookie season. Than, last season he didn’t really play like you expect  a top ten pick to play. There are many people who have labeled him as soft, and having bad hands. Based on his career to this point, it is the only conclusion to come to.

However, it is important to take a minute to look at how Ross ended up in Cincinnati. His record setting 40 yard dash generated almost all of his pre draft buzz, but the reality is Ross was going to be a first round pick that year based off his play long before he ran the 40 yard dash.  That  just helped propel him to being a top ten pick.

If you take a minute to look at his highlights in college, You see a legit top receiver in college football, and a true first round talent even without his 40 yard dash . His college career was very similar to Marquise Brown who is now considered a first round pick in this year’s draft.

Ross’s final year in college featured 81 receptions,1,150 yards receiving, and 17 receiving touchdowns that year. 17 receiving touchdowns in one year is more than some top receivers have throughout their whole college career.

It took until then for Ross to really make an impact. In his first two seasons at Washington, he didn’t really do much. Specifically, in his second year, he had only 17 receptions. Out of those 17 receptions though, he had 5 touchdowns. Does that sound familiar? It should.

This past season, his second in the NFL, he had 21 receptions and 7 touchdowns.  He  put up the stats listed above that led to him being a first round wide receiver in his third year of college football. So, there is history that suggests Ross might be ready to break out in his third NFL season.

So far, all Ross has really done is catch touchdowns. The Eagles had a guy like that who was cut after his third season. Head coach Buddy Ryan said “All he does is catch touchdowns.” His name was Chris Carter. He did catch touchdowns and ultimately became a Hall of Fame wide receiver with the Vikings.

Ross took similar steps in the NFL last year to what he did in his second season in college by scoring seven touchdowns last year. With a new offensive minded head coach in Zac Taylor, The Bengals could get similar results to what the Huskies got in his final year at Washington. Ross has a better chance to play to his talent level thanks to what should be renewed confidence as well as a comfort level of now knowing what the NFL is like.

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