Each year at the NFL Scouting Combine, coaches and general managers from all over the league sit scattered throughout Lucas Oil Stadium to watch the current crop of college prospects that will be available in the upcoming NFL Draft work out in their underwear. The event that has consistently garnered the most attention during the Combine’s existence has been the 40-yard dash.
For some reason, a player’s time it takes him to run 40 yards in shorts and a t-shirt can make or break his draft evaluation. Running in a straight line is not a common occurrence for players in the NFL, but that has not deterred scouts around the league from valuing this drill way more than they probably should.
During this year’s Combine, former University of Washington wide receiver John Ross was among the short-list of players who could possibly set a new record-time in the 40-yard dash. Back In 2008, running back Chris Johnson ran the 40 in 4.24 seconds and no player has run a faster time since.
Until this year. Ross more than delivered on those who predicted him to set a new 40-time record at the Scouting Combine in 2017. The former Washington wide receiver ran the drill in a jaw-dropping 4.22 seconds.
But unlike some of the Combine’s top performers before him, Ross will be able to do more than just run fast when he steps onto an NFL field next season. It’s just a matter of who drafts him, and where. Despite his incredible speed, these guys are all projected to go ahead of him:
At Washington in 2016, the wide receiver finished his season with 81 catches for 1,150 yards and 19 total touchdowns. Ross has been compared to a number of speedy NFL pass catchers including DeSean Jackson, Brandin Cooks, and Emmanuel Sanders.
Growing up in Southern California, Ross began to play football at an early age. According to a recent feature by MMQB’s Emily Kaplan, the wide receiver was so talented at such a young age that he was asked to join a team coached by the rapper Snoop Dogg.
Yes, Ross was coached by the Snoopzilla himself.
He went on to continue his dominance on the football field as a high schooler and eventually landed in Seattle to play college ball at Washington, where he was able to better himself not just on the field, but off it as well.
Kaplan also mentioned how Ross became a frequent attendee in the team’s film room in 2015 while rehabbing a torn ACL. He was able to see the game from a different point of view and it is ultimately what led to his impressive season in 2016.
Ross has been projected by numerous draft experts to be selected in this year’s first-round and possibly even being the very first wide receiver taken. If that does end up happening, Ross may run the fastest he has ever run in his life to get on that stage and pose with the jersey of the team that decided he was worth them taking a chance on.