2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Justyn Rossby Ryan Moran March 19, 2022 0 comments
Justyn Ross is an intriguing 2022 NFL Draft prospect. He was rated as a four-star recruit. He possesses great talent as a wide receiver and physical ability. Athletically, he has some good traits. Ross has put up some great production throughout his years at Clemson. With Ross, the main concern is his durability following a multitude of tough injuries. He did not play in 2020 as a result of surgery from an injury. Ross played in 39 games at Clemson from 2018 to 2021. He was a core contributor to their 2018 National Championship winning team.
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Name: Justyn Ross
Jersey: No. 8
Position: Wide Receiver
Class: Redshirt Junior
Weight: 210 lbs
Games Watched: Alabama (2018), North Carolina (2019), South Carolina (2019), Georgia (2021)
Major Injury History: Congenital Fusion (2020), Foot Surgery (2021)
Hands/Ball Security (9.5/10)
Ross has reliable hands catching the football at any point on the field. He can get out of his break suddenly with the ball on its way and he will reel it in. He can grab screens when there is traffic around him. On the intermediate level, he made some impressive catches with his hands. Ross did not show any concerns when it came to ball security. Catching the football is a top strength for Ross.
Contested Catch (9.25/10)
In traffic, Ross made some impressive snags. He is great working close to the sideline catching the football. In jump-ball situations, Ross can high-point the football and go up and get it in the air. He can win on the outside on back shoulders or deep fade routes with his height. In the red zone, he can be a featured target. When it comes to contested catches, Ross is very capable.
Tracking/Body Control (8.75/10)
Ross can locate the football when it is in the air and complete the catch. He can adjust his body to get in position to reel in the football. On shorter and quicker routes underneath, he is able to locate the football in a hurry and catch it. On some lower throws, he was able to adjust to make a completion. When working down the field, Ross can track the football.
Route Running (8/10)
The best routes run by Ross are on the short and intermediate levels. On quick-hitters, he is under control with his frame and keeps his break flat. With intermediate routes, Ross is great on in and out-breaking routes, especially from the slot. He keeps his body under control, stems, and keeps digs and outs flat. On other intermediate routes like curls, comebacks, and others working back to the quarterback, he will lunge with his feet, losing complete control of his frame allowing for not as crisp of a break. Vertically, Ross was not targeted on anything really except outside the numbers on go and fade routes.
Ross can create separation with his routes. He has the quickness with his feet to beat a cornerback at the top of his route. Ross is not the fastest, and will not blow by anyone with his speed. With his releases, as stated above, he has quick feet but does not effectively use them against press at the line of scrimmage.
Against press coverage, Ross does have the ability to make a cornerback miss with his foot quickness. However, he does not apply enough pressure, working into the cornerback enough to win with his release. Patient press corners can sit slightly off and not feel any threat from Ross’ quick footwork. From there, he does not stack corners well whether he takes speed vertically inside or outside. He will have to work on his releases and add more releases to his package.
Run After the Catch (8/10)
Surprisingly, Ross will make things happen after the catch with his short-area quickness and athleticism. For someone as big and tall as he is, he will not beat defenders with the ball in his hands using power. Ross is not the greatest threat after the catch. But, if he does win with the football in his hands, it is because he has some sneaky-shiftiness to his game to make defenders miss in space or tight areas.
Vertical Speed (7.75/10)
By no means is Ross a slow player. At Clemson’s pro day on Thursday, he ran a 4.56 on his first attempt, a solid time for more of a possession type of target. With that being said, Ross will not concern cornerbacks down the field going full-speed. He will not generate separation with his foot speed. Ross will not be placed in a deep-threat role.
While he does not top-flight long-speed, Ross can move at a good pace at the line of scrimmage when given free-release opportunities against off coverage. He moves well on the short and intermediate level running full-steam ahead. Ross does not have the ability to kick it into an even greater gear though. At the line of scrimmage against press coverage, Ross is more likely to win with foot quickness or his size than with speed.
Ross has some good athletic ability for a bigger wide receiver. He has some shiftiness which he shows with the football in his hands after the catch. Ross does not have the pure speed or explosiveness though to put pressure on a defensive back. Athletically, Ross is likely to win with his quick footwork and body control. He can move with relative ease.
There were some good and bad things shown by Ross as a blocker. Sometimes, his effort did not look there. His hand placement would not be great on certain reps. When he would properly get his hands on, he struggled to sustain. When Ross gave greater effort, he showed he can win with his size and strength as a blocker. Early on, Ross cannot be relied upon as an efficient blocker.
Ross can offer a team some nice positional flexibility. He had some great reps working inside from the slot as a bigger and taller receiver. As a result of his size, he can be deployed outside with his ability near the sideline to complete contested catches in jump-ball scenarios. If he does not become more well-rounded with his release package to separate against press coverage on the outside, he then can be utilized inside where he can be effective.
Aside from injury concerns, there is a lot to like about Ross the football player. He can bring an exciting skillset and presence to a team as a wide receiver. His hands, size, short and intermediate route-running, quickness, and ability to catch 50-50 balls are all promising traits of Ross. In the NFL, he will have to improve on the outside with his releases, stacking, and routes. His ideal fit is in a scheme that throws the ball vertically to outside targets and does not require receivers to have the most complete route tree. He can help a team in the red zone. With his injury concerns, he will fall, but his talent makes him worth a third or fourth-round draft pick for a team.
Rookie Projections: Solid Depth Receiver
Third Year Projections: Starting Receiver
Final Grade (81.5/100): Late Second-Round Pick
Player Comp: Courtland Sutton
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