O.J. Ross NFL supplemental draft scouting report

Sandra Dukes-US PRESSWIRE
O.J. Ross | 5'10, 188 pounds | Wide receiver | Purdue
2012 stats: 56 receptions, 474 yards, two touchdowns

O.J. Ross' career at Purdue can be viewed as a little bit of a disappointment, and not just because of the off-field issues. He was a highly regarded recruit whose production never quite matched up with what may have been expected. Part of that can be attributed to how he was utilized at Purdue, and the middling quarterback play, but some of it is on Ross as well.

It's somewhat odd in today's pass-heavy football to see a wide receiver with speed be somewhat deficient as a vertical threat. Ross averaged just 8.5 yards per catch in 2012, a season in which he finished with 56 receptions for 474 yards. Ross had a decent catch rate last season at 69.1 percent, according to numbers compiled by SB Nation's Bill Connelly. Ross just doesn't generate a lot of positive yards on a consistent basis.

That's particularly strange because once Ross gets the ball in his hands, he looks to have some legit speed and elusiveness. As Josh Norris of Rotoworld wisely points out, Ross looks like a slot receiver who was used on the outside. If he's used inside more regularly, perhaps it could help unleash his potential better.

But solid press coverage in the NFL is going to give Ross trouble. He hesitates in his first step and because of his size (or lack thereof), pro corners will reroute or slow down his routes. Ross is at his best when he can use his quickness to get open. He does that on hesitation and go routes vertically or working over the middle.

Like every other player in the supplemental draft, Ross is eligible due to unsavory reasons. He was initially ruled academically ineligible for Purdue's Little Caesars Pizza Bowl appearance in 2011. In February, he was suspended by the school for violating undisclosed team rules.

Of all the players in the supplemental draft, Ross offers the most natural and immediate ability. He could find work in the slot and on special teams duty that takes advantage of his speed. Because of the off-field issues, a team may not gamble a future pick on Ross. But of the six players in this year's supplemental draft, he is the mostly likely to get picked.

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