Prospect Profile: WR Justyn Ross
Jake Pittman - 1/25/2021

Prospect Profile: WR Justyn Ross

Prospect Overview:

Justyn Ross is a 6’4" 205-pound wide receiver from Clemson University. Ross was incredibly productive in his time healthy next to projected #1 overall pick QB Trevor Lawrence. Ross did however miss the entire 2020-2021 season due to a neck injury. Ross still has not officially declared for the draft, but many scouts and agents believe that Ross will declare soon. If Ross believes he put enough on tape in 2019-2020, he will most likely declare in the near future.

 

Scouting Report:

While WR Justyn Ross does not particularly excel in any one area of his game, he is very refined in most. Ross is not a burner on the outside. He is plenty fast to play as a #1 receiver at the next level, but he’s not the guy that you will see separate from defenders using track speed. Ross has an excellent frame and uses his height and strength to beat defenders at the apex of the throw constantly. He is good after the catch, using his strength and agility to beat smaller corners. He isn’t as great in the screen game if he can’t get his momentum going before-hand. Ross has shown to be able to run any route on the tree, but doesn’t show off any particular route being elite in his arsenal. The best part of his game are his ball skills and field awareness. He uses his light feet and keen awareness to locate the ball even when its coming from awkward angles, going over his shoulder or to his back shoulder.

Ross does struggle sometimes with creating separation. He does have good footwork, enough speed, and adequate quickness, but against physical, elite corners he sometimes gets rerouted and can’t create any form of separation. This was on display against Jeff Okudah, the #3 overall pick last season, where he was often times locked down by Okudah’s physical play. So, this concern against NFL corners could cause problems at the next level. He does have tremendous jump ball ability thought, which has given him the ability to make plays even when the defender is draped over him.

Justyn Ross projects to be a solid WR 2 for any team in this league because of his balanced skill set and prototypical size. I project him to be a late first round or early second round pick, similar to his former teammate WR Tee Higgins. His injury concerns could push him back later if teams find problems during his physicals that team doctors will administer. The fact that he did suffer this injury and miss the entire season may lead him to decide that another year at Clemson will be better for his career, but as a 2021 draft prospect he should generate plenty of interest from scouts and general managers.

 

Player Comparison:

The player that reminds me most of Justyn Ross is Detroit Lions WR Marvin Jones. Ross is a little bit taller and a little bit bulkier than Jones, but they both display a very similar skillset. They are both well-rounded receivers with an elite knack for locating the ball and high pointing it with little to no separation. While Jones has never had an elite season when it comes to yards and reception, he has been able to put up monster touchdown numbers by utilizing his ball skills and jump ball abilities. I could see Ross’s career following a similar path as an elite #2 receiver that any QB would love to have as his left-hand man.

 

Most Likely Landing Spots:

 

Green Bay Packers:

I think last season everyone expected the Packers to take a WR in the first round. Ross’s former teammate Tee Higgins was a perfect match, but the Packers shocked everyone by taking what they hope is the eventual replacement for QB Aaron Rodgers with QB Jordan Love. It would be shocking if the Packers didn’t take someone to line up opposite of WR Davante Adams, and Ross has a skillset that would complement Adams perfectly. Ross played this same type of role at Clemson opposite of Tee Higgins and he would be able to step into this role for the Packers on day 1 and allow Rodgers to have another great weapon out wide. I love this fit for him and believe it would be his best long-term and short-term fit for both his career and fantasy relevance. We know that there is plenty to go around in this potent Packer’s offense, so even as a rookie Ross would be able to step into a big role and would offer the possibility of being a solid week in and week out WR2 in fantasy. He would most likely be a WR3 as rookie, but with outstanding upside since Aaron Rodgers would be throwing him the ball.

 

Miami Dolphin:

If the Dolphins were to pass up on a player like WR Devonta Smith or WR Jamarr Chase with the #3 overall pick, Ross could be a great option to split out opposite of WR Devante Parker. Ross would offer a safe and reliable target for Tua as he progresses as an NFL QB. The Dolphins do have WR Preston Williams who is recovering from an injury that cost him most of the 2020 season, but it is always a good plan to provide your young developing QB with as many weapons as possible. If Ross were to land in Miami he would have a very limited fantasy ceiling due to a low passing volume in a QB Tua Tagovailoa led offense. I would project him to be a low-end WR3 as a best-case scenario, with no real opportunity for high-end production.

 

Baltimore Ravens:

QB Lamar Jackson had a little bit of a step-back from his MVP season in 2019, and a big reason for this could be his lack of receiving weapons. Young WR Marquise "Hollywood" Brown put together a phenomenal finish to the 2020 season and TE Mark Andrews has proven time and time again to be Jackson’s favorite option. The problem is outside of these two players Jackson doesn’t have much else to work with. Adding Ross to the other side of the formation would offer him a lot more options for whenever Andrews is being double teamed or Brown is being bullied by a bigger corner. Ross’s frame would also provide Jackson with another big target like Mark Andrews that Jackson has proven to be very effective with. The fantasy implications of Ross’s arrival in Baltimore wouldn’t make him an exceptionally good option for players, but it could add a huge boost to Lamar Jackson’s fantasy output and allow for him to put up stats closer to his MVP season. All in all, Ross would most likely be a low-end WR3 with moderate upside.

 

Summary:

Justyn Ross projects to be a solid #2 WR for whatever team drafts him. His balanced skillset and lack of any big concerns outside of injury leads me to believe he will have a good career with multiple fantasy relevant seasons depending on the offense and QB he lands with. Ross’s rookie season will most likely not offer a ton of fantasy relevant performances, but Aaron Rodgers or Patrick Mahomes could change that belief.

 

End.

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