There are some things that can be taught and then there are some things that just can’t be taught. I believe one of those things that can’t be taught is speed as it is something that you either have or don’t. Right now, the Bucs offense doesn’t have much speed if any at all right now and head coach Dirk Koetter feels that is something the Bucs need to add this off-season. Talking on the Buccaneers radio last month Koetter talked about how he would love to add a home run guy opposite of Mike Evans via bucswire.usatoday.com.
“Absolutely, could not agree more,” Coach Koetter said. “You know, it was unfortunate when we lost Vincent Jackson and, you know, we had to fill in with some guys. And it’s nothing against them, but we definitely would love to add a guy with some home run speed on the opposite side of Mike Evans, I totally agree. I think it would help Jameis a lot. And it’s very high on our priority list. I can promise you.”
The good news for the Bucs is that there are some options if they are looking for a homerun threat via free agency or the draft. However, in this article we are going to take a closer look at player that the Bucs could target with the 19th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. This player is all about speed as he has that rare ability to break away and can instantly change the game with one play. The player I am talking about is no other than Washington Huskies WR John Ross.
John Ross- 22 years old, 5’11-190lbs 81 receptions, 1150 yds, 14.2 ypc, 17 tds
Strengths: If there is one word to describe Ross it would be electric as he can change the game with the ball in his hands. Ross has one gear and that is being fast at all times as he can go from 0 to 60 real quick. He has solid hands as drops are rare and does a good job of tracking the ball on deep passes. He knows how to use his speed to create separation and make defenders miss in the open field. He has the ability to play on the outside or in the slot and can also bring return ability to special teams.
Weaknesses: Even though there are routes that Ross runs very well, he needs to work on all his routes especially in the short and intermediate levels to make him a three level player. He needs to attack the football more with his hands as he tends to catch with the body too much. Overall balance needs to improve as he sometimes falls for no reason. Injury concerns as he has had two surgeries on his knees so that is something to keep an eye on. He is not the biggest guy as he is listed at 5’11 190lbs, might need to add some more strength to help with the riggors of the NFL.
Overall, John Ross is one of the special playmakers in this years draft as he has rare speed and the ability to create separation which is very important in today’s game. His size and past injuries are concerning but with the ability to change the game with one play is a reason he is being considered as a first round pick. Ross has been compared to Brandin Cooks and Desean Jackson whom both are very explosive players and consistently make big plays in the passing game. Ross has the right mental makeup as he is very competitive and some would call him an edgey type player. If coach Koetter and Gm Licht want to add some speed, then Ross might be there guy at 19. With Ross on the team, opposing defenses would have to decide who to double. Do you double Evans, leaving Ross and Brate with one on one’s or do you not double Evans, either way with Ross the Bucs would be more dynamic and explosive.