Breaking news: Raiders will sign with fastest receiver
With the 24th overall selection, most project the Oakland Raiders to focus on the defensive side of the ball. But John Ross would take the offense to the next level.
In a perfect world — or the world of the late Al Davis — John Ross to the Oakland Raiders is a no-brainer. Ross embodies everything Davis looked for in his skill players — most notably, lightning speed and pure athleticism.
This philosophy worked out to be a gift (Charles Woodson) less frequently than it was a curse (Darrius Heyward-Bey). But at the no. 24 pick, the Raiders have a chance to do something special, adding the final touches to an already dynamic offense.
If you didn’t know how fast John Ross was before the 2017 NFL Combine, his record-breaking 4.22 second 40-yard dash time should be a great indicator. There are plenty of speed demons in the league, but Ross’ ability to burst off the line of scrimmage gives him an advantage on defenders.
That ability to get off the line and create separation through quickness and precise route-running made him an dangerous weapon as a Huskie. That same ability would do serve him well as a member of the Raiders, allowing offensive coordinator Todd Downing to utilize his athleticism in a variety of ways.
Plays like that above click are the little things that Ross would bring to the offense. Such as in a situation when the Raiders simply need to move the chains, he would be able to get open quickly, pick up the first down, and he’s always a threat to score.
The Raiders’ current slot receiver is veteran Seth Roberts, who signed his exclusive rights free agent tender on April 17. While Roberts is a viable scoring threat and exceptional run blocker, he is wildly inconsistent — particularly when it comes to catching passes. And then Oakland signed former Vikings receiver and special teams stud Cordarrelle Patterson in March. Ross possesses the tools of both, at a younger age and with better hands.
As if Oakland needs another kickoff returner with Patterson and Jalen Richard, but Ross took four kickoffs to the house in three healthy seasons as a Huskie.
The bottom line is Ross is the physical specimen that Davis attempted to draft so many times. If the Raiders are going to make a serious run at a Super Bowl, they could use another offensive weapon to mask a defense that is marred by glaring holes.
Before his untimely injury, Derek Carr commanded one of the league’s premiere offenses. Adding Ross to that offense could prove even more deadly.