The fastest player in the history of the NFL Scouting Combine won't even be on the board for some teams when the NFL draft commences next week. NFL Network draft expert Mike Mayock said Friday on a media teleconference that injury concerns have made Ross undraftable for some, and downgraded for others.
"There are some teams that have pushed him either down their boards or off their boards because of injuries," Mayock said. "He's had surgery on his shoulder, he's had surgery on both knees, and he's got a small frame. So the durability is a big issue with him right now."
Ross (5-foot-11, 188 pounds) enjoyed a breakout season at Washington last year (1,150 yards, 17 TDs) and broke the combine 40-yard dash record in March with a clocking of 4.22 seconds. He postponed surgery to repair the labrum in his right shoulder until after Washington's pro day and missed the entire 2015 season with a knee injury. Per a statement from Ross' agent, his surgery history includes meniscus surgery on his right knee in January of 2015, ACL surgery on his left knee in April of 2015, and the shoulder surgery last month.
While some teams might consider Ross a draft scratch, he remains widely expected to be selected in the first round. Mayock said he remains a first-round option at his position, along with Clemson's Mike Williams and Western Michigan's Corey Davis.
"I love that he could step in Day 1 and help a team as both a return guy and as a receiver," Mayock added. "He puts the ball in the end zone; I'm a huge fan of John Ross."
Ross is also projected as a first-round selection in five mock drafts by NFL.com analysts, all within the range of picks from No. 13 (Arizona Cardinals) to No. 18 (Tennessee Titans). Hopefully for Ross, the clubs that have removed him from their boards aren't picking in that area.