Could John Ross be a fit with the Houston Texans?
John Ross turned himself into a household name at the 2017 NFL combine when he ran a 4.22 40-yard-dash, the fastest in NFL history. Just two years later, there have been rumblings that the Cincinnati Bengals could be looking to rid themselves of the speedy receiver as he has failed to live to the expectations as a top ten pick.
Ross is running out of time with the Bengals, and some of the factors that have led to his potential exit can be argued to be out of his control. Ross has failed to get on the field after his first two seasons in the league; he has only played in 16 of the 32 regular season games.
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The emergence of Tyler Boyd as a viable number two receiver has kept Ross to a restricted roled. Alex Erickson has also carved himself a role as a slot receiver and a third option in the Bengals offense.
The hiring of the new Bengals head coach, Zac Taylor, can also be attributed to Ross being shopped around since they don’t have the same investment that the previous coaching staff had in Ross. Taylor could be looking to move on from players that were drafted under longtime Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis. Ross has failed to live up to a top 10 draft pick and was projected as more of a day two player due to his medical history before his record-breaking 40 time.
When Ross is healthy, he has failed to make much of a difference as a receiver despite his elite speed. In 16 games played, Ross has seen 60 targets but has only caught 21 passes for 210 yards and seven touchdowns.
Considering his injury history, lack of production, Ross’ trade value isn’t at an all-time high. Bengals would look to part way with the 9th pick of the 2017 draft for a similar price as the Giants did with Eli Apple, the 10th pick in the 2016 draft. However, the Giants were able to get a 4th round pick and a future 7th round pick for a player that has produced far more than Ross.
Given that, Ross’ value should be around a 4th-5th rounder in 2019, and a future pick, perhaps a younger player as well. He would be an excellent piece to pair with Deshaun Watson‘s and could be insurance in case of a Will Fuller injury.
The Texans could be working the phones looking to improve their team via trade or bolster their depth chart in a much cheaper way in free agency or in the upcoming NFL Draft. Ross is an excellent athlete, but he hasn’t proved enough in the NFL for the Texans to give up a bevy of draft picks for him.