4 worst Bengals draft picks of the Duke Tobin era

2018 NFL Draft
2018 NFL Draft / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages
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3. John Ross

The Bengals drafted wide receiver John Ross with the ninth overall pick in the 2017 draft. A top 10 pick, he was not. This, as was the case for Ogbuehi, is not hindsight. 

Coming out of Washington, Ross was a one-hit-wonder. He had one good season for the Huskies. Ironically, his quarterback, Jake Browning, is now dropping dimes all over Bengals training camp. 

At the time, drafting Ross seemed more in touch with what the Raiders would do. If a player came out of nowhere and “won the NFL combine,” it was a good bet that the Silver and Black had their one good eye on him. 

The argument for Cincinnati was they needed a receiver who could stretch the field. Who better than a guy who ran the fastest 40 in NFL Combine history? As it turns out, there were plenty better. 

Another thing that could have played a detrimental role in Ross’ lack of development may have been a struggle for control between Coach Lewis and the front office. Drafting Ross was not on Lewis’ to-do list in 2017. His lack of playing time strongly hinted at that. 

When he was on the field, however, there were times when he did not know where to be, forcing the team to call a timeout. When he did know where to be, there was no guarantee or expectation that he would catch the ball, leaving fans holding their breath every time the ball was thrown his way. 

This offseason, Ross signed with the new rival Kansas City Chiefs. He was even spotted making plays connecting with Patrick Mahomes in their offseason program. 

The hope (and fear if you’re a Bengals fan) that Ross would revive his career in Kansas City was short lived. The embattled receiver recently announced his retirement from the NFL. 

Ross finished his career in stripes with 51 catches, 733 yards, and ten touchdowns on a 41.5% catch rate when targeted. Those were not the results Tobin and the team were looking for. But Ross not living up to his top-10 draft status was foreseeable.