Bengals: Why John Ross can finally live up to his draft billing in 2020

John Ross (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
John Ross (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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John Ross
Cincinnati Bengals, John Ross (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

John Ross should have a big role in 2020

Fewer snaps for John Ross does not have to mean he will have a diminished role. The former top-ten pick had fine production in 2019 despite only playing 37% of the Bengals’ offensive snaps. In 2018, he showed he could stay healthy enough to play 60% of snaps. In 2020, they should just spread those snaps out a little further so he can play for an entire 16 games.

Despite the addition of rookie receiver Higgins, Ross still appears to be the starting receiver in 2 wide receiver sets opposite Green. It makes sense, Higgins plays very similarly to the veteran Green, while Ross’ unique abilities provide a perfect foil to the future Hall-of-Famer’s play style.

Even with limited snaps, rookie quarterback Burrow will be able to make Ross much more productive than he was under veteran Andy Dalton. In his Heisman campaign, Burrow had a completion percentage of 74.4% on deep throws. Pro Football Focus gave the LSU quarterback a 99.3 deep passing grade. Finally paired with a quarterback who can hit him on deep balls, Ross should thrive, regardless of his target share.

Starting opposite Green while rotating with Higgins and Tate to maintain health is the perfect opportunity for Ross to have the breakout season fans have been waiting for. If he can reach 60% of the team’s snaps, he could finally be the receiver he was drafted to be.

Ross may never be a 1,000-yard season type of receiver, but with Burrow passing to him in 2020, he is bound to have the best season of his career. A breakout year from John Ross could be just what the Bengals need to have a top tier offense in Burrow’s rookie year.

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