Undrafted rookie receiver Justyn Ross is already flexing his ability in a Kansas City Chiefs uniform.
Ross was seen in a video posted by the Chiefs’ social media team grabbing a low pass one-handed while keeping his feet in bounds for the completion during Kansas City’s organized team activities (OTAs) on May 25.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes shared some added details on Twitter regarding the catch by Ross.
“Craziest part about this was dude acted like this was normal after he caught it…” Mahomes wrote.
Tight end Travis Kelce also weighed in on the conversation.
“I felt like I was the only one that got hype when I saw it live!! WE NEED MORE JUICE!!”
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Mahomes Also Seen Throwing to JuJu
The Chiefs’ social media team also posted a video of newly-signed wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster catching passes from Mahomes at OTAs.
Twitters users reacted to what they were seeing from Ross and Smith-Schuster.
“I will consume the Justyn Ross hype until the train comes off the rails,” one Twitter user wrote.
“if [Ross] booms the NFL is absolutely screwed. will be WR1 for 5+ years,” another user wrote.
“I can’t wait to see Mahomes move the ball down the field efficiently with the plethora of really good ‘hands’ catching receivers. Something he’s never really had outside of Sammy Watkins. Reliable receivers that can really move the chains,” another user wrote.
Ross Brings High Upside, Injury History
Ross has one of the highest ceilings you’ll find from the 2022 class of NFL rookies. But there’s a reason why he went undrafted.
Ross was a playmaker during his first two seasons at Clemson. During the 2018 and 2019 seasons, he accumulated 1,865 receiving yards on 112 catches — 16.6 yards per catch — and 17 touchdowns, according to Sports Reference.
In the spring of 2020, Ross would be diagnosed with a congenital fusion in his spine, which had doctors telling him he would never play football again, per Adam Teicher of ESPN. The Clemson pass-catcher would undergo surgery that year and sat out the 2020 season.
During the 2021 season, which was his final year of collegiate football, Ross returned to football and caught 46 passes for 514 yards and 3 touchdowns. But a stress fracture in his foot hampered his play the entire season.
With injuries plaguing him for the backend of his time at Clemson, Ross’s draft stock plummeted in 2022. Instead of being one of the top prospects in the draft, he went undrafted. But the injuries weren’t enough to keep Ross out of the NFL entirely, which is evident by him being on Kansas City’s 90-man roster.
While Ross has everything to prove as he enters the next chapter of his football career, his college football coach is being vocal — and bold — about what he believes Ross can do at the NFL level.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney was asked about Ross, whom he coached throughout his collegiate career, during a Prowl and Growl event in Columbia, South Carolina.
“I mean he’s Justyn Ross,” Swinney said, via Matt Connolly of Clemson Sports. “There’s no questions about Justyn Ross when it comes to playing football. But there’s obvious questions when it comes to, ‘OK, where is he health wise?’ He broke his foot. Obviously he missed all that time with surgical procedures in his neck and back area. He’ll do just fine. If the good lord keeps him healthy, football will come easy for him.”
Swinney then went as far as to say Ross could eventually be known as one of the greatest the NFL has ever seen among the undrafted, barring injury.
“He might be the greatest free agent ever if he stays healthy,” Swinney said.