Why John Ross Makes Some Sense for Eagles
(973espn.com) - With a new coach coming in the Cincinnati Bengals have thrown up their hands and are shopping wide receiver John Ross, the former No. 9 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
A blur with sub-4.3 speed one of the major concerns with Ross coming out of Washington was injuries and sure enough the 5-foot-11, 190-pound receiver has battled through knee and shoulder issues, playing in just 16 of a possible 32 games, snaring 21 receptions on 60 targets for 210 yards and seven touchdowns.
Other than the TD number those numbers are awful and the catch-to-target ratio is dismal. Add that to the fact that the organization is giving up on a former top-10 pick in just two seasons and there are plenty of red flags.
However, the Carson Wentz extension is coming sooner rather than later for the Eagles and once that number hits the books Philadelphia will need to rely on more cost-effective options to build the roster.
Meanwhile, a deep threat on the outside at receiver remains a need for the Eagles and the one thing the now 24-year-old Ross can do is run, clocking in a scorching 4.19 in the 40-yard dash at the 2017 scouting combine, an all-time record.
After two dismal seasons, the Bengals will be selling low on Ross and a trade would give the Eagles two seasons under his rookie deal at $2 million this season and $2.8M in 2020 before a costly fifth-year option is in play. That would help the cap situation, especially when measured against out-bidding people for a John Brown-type in free agency.
The Eagles also showed heavy interest in Ross during the 2017 draft process and brought him to Philadelphia as one of their top-30 visits while also tabbing him as one of eight receiving prospects given to Wentz to watch and provide feedback on.
The big issue, of course, is can Ross play at all?
A late-round draft pick would be worth finding out. With Ross' skill set matching the Eagles' need at WR he would be a low-risk, high-reward flyer for a team with cap issues.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen