Earlier this week, on Wednesday, reports began circulating out of the NFL Scouting Combine that the Bengals are shopping receiver John Ross in trade talks. A plethora of NFL teams should waste no time in picking up the phone in efforts to acquire Ross, as he has a lot of what teams like in his game and he’s widely portrayed as a low risk, high reward player which makes him all that more enticing. Ross has longevity, as he’s currently just 24 years old. The former first-round pick owns one of the fastest 40-yard dash times ever recorded at the combine, clocking in at a blazing 4.22 seconds back in March of 2017. Finally, albeit injury concerns, Ross has the skills that teams love in the modern era NFL, possessing blazing speed to stretch the field deep and the ability to have an impact on trick or gadget plays like jet sweeps or end arounds. He also has two years remaining on his four-year rookie contract with a fifth-year team option available, making him affordable for just about any team. Now it’s time to take a look at some NFL teams that should be trying their damndest to add Ross to their squad.
1. Denver Broncos
This would be the move of the off-season for the orange crush. It has been reported by Mike Klis, who covers the Broncos for 9News in Denver, that the team is aiming to bring in a “burner” wide receiver this spring. Klis mentioned current Ravens receiver John Brown, who would potentially make more sense than John Ross, given his experience playing with new Broncos quarterback Joe Flacco. It’s worth noting however, that Brown has a major concern when it comes to playing in Denver with his rare sickle cell trait combined with the lower altitude. Ross offers more speed and youth and choosing Ross over Brown would eliminate the health concerns Brown has.
2. Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia’s offense is loaded with playmaking talent, especially at receiver. There is one thing they don’t have at receiver, though, and that is a freakishly fast electrifiying player like John Ross. Futhermore, rumors out of the Scouting Combine suggest that Philadelphia has receiver Nelson Agholor on the trade block, which could give the Eagles more reason to nab Ross from Cincinnati if Agholor is in fact traded. Subsequent to that, mid-season trade acquisition Golden Tate is expected to leave the Eagles in free agency, leaving them with a sudden need for receiving talent outside of Alshon Jeffery if they decide to deal Agholor. Ross would not only be an instant filling of the hole, but he would also give the innovative offensive guru that is Eagles’ coach Doug Pederson a shiny new toy to scheme open for Carson Wentz on Sunday’s, adding versatility to an already dangerous offense.
3. Los Angeles Chargers
I know what you’re thinking. The Chargers certainly do not need John Ross, but in some cases, that’s exactly why you get a player. This would qualify as one of those cases. With Tyrell Williams set to earn a rich new deal on the open market, the Chargers have a need for a receiver that can do what Williams unnoticeably did well for them — stretch the field deep and run the deep route tree very well. Ross would be the quintessential player to replace Tyrell Williams and he could also be more effective than Williams was in the same role, adding voltage to the Bolts’ offense that’s already quite high powered.
4. Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals have their work cut out for them this off-season as they try to build around second-year quarterback Josh Rosen. Rosen has very little weaponry heading into his second year outside of Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk. Ross would not only bring some needed receiving help to the desert, but he would also add some blazing speed to an offense that doesn’t have a lot of for Rosen and rookie head coach Kliff Kingsbury to play with. Ross would make life a lot easier on a young Josh Rosen, simply by forcing defenses to give cushion to him with him being the deep threat that he is, which would open up passing lanes on the short and intermediate levels of the field.
5. Green Bay Packers
Green Bay’s receiving corps just hasn’t been the same since the team released Jordy Nelson last March. Green Bay selected three wide receivers in the NFL Draft last April in J’Mon Moore, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Equanimeous St. Brown. All three first-year pass catchers struggled to produce in a 2018 season that Packers fans would love to forget. With Randall Cobb expected to leave in free agency this spring, Green Bay should be all over a name like John Ross. Aaron Rodgers has been lacking a big play threat on the outside for a few years now and John Ross can certainly change that.