Nearly two years after being selected 10th overall, John Ross is still struggling to find his way in the NFL. So, the Bengals may need to take another speedy receiver in this year’s draft. Let’s look at three possible Ross replacements.
Andy Isabella, 5’9, UMass
Isabella’s name has been on the rise since the Senior Bowl. He tied for the fastest 40-yard dash (4.31) at the NFL combine last month. Isabella has a sprinting background in track and field, which can be seen in his film. The shifty and speedy receiver doesn’t offer a good catch radius but can bring explosiveness to any offense. He projects as a pure slot receiver on the next level with speed to take the top off defense. In space, he will be a handful to keep up with and tackle.
Emmanuel Hall, 6’2, Missouri
With a 4.39 40-yard dash, Hall is another speedy receiving threat that would be a nice compliment to Tyler Boyd & AJ Green. Unlike Isabella, he provides the frame and length needed to thrive outside and allow Boyd to operate more in the slot (602 slot snaps). He should be a late day two or early day three selection. Hall is not a finished product, but his potential could provide the boost to this offense that Ross has not. The Bengals need to find a potential replacement for Ross if they move on from him in the near future. This is an intriguing combo of size and speed that Cincinnati should consider taking a flyer on.
Mecole Hardman, 5’10, Georgia
The trend here is obvious, speed kills. All three receivers possess top-end speed. Hardman was a forgotten man in Athens due to a plethora of offensive talent. He is an elite athlete and explosive receiving threat with a 4.33 40-yard dash. Shorter than Hall and taller than Isabella, Hardman can move around the formation. His muscular tone and frame leave the presumption that he would be a healthy replacement for Ross.
Also, if Ross stays in Cincinnati, bringing in any one of these three names would at the very least have him looking over his shoulder, which may be exactly what he needs.
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