According to a report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Washington Huskies receiver John Ross will forego his senior season and enter this year’s NFL draft.
Ross, a fourth-year junior from Long Beach, California, led the Pac-12 with 17 touchdown receptions this season and caught 81 passes for 1,150 yards. He is projected by CBS Sports as a likely first-round pick, and the No. 2 receiver in the draft class. His reported decision to declare for the draft is not a surprise.
Ross came to UW as a four-star athlete out of Long Beach Jordan High School, and saw the field during his true freshman season at kick returner, receiver and defensive back. He returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown in UW’s Fight Hunger Bowl victory over BYU that year, then spent time at both receiver and cornerback during coach Chris Petersen’s first year at UW in 2014.
A torn anterior-cruciate ligament and subsequent surgery forced Ross to sit out the 2015 season, but he recovered well enough to run a hand-timed, 4.25-second 40-yard dash at UW’s Husky Combine in March, then immediately established himself as the offense’s premier playmaker during spring practices and fall camp. He caught two touchdown passes and returned a kickoff for a touchdown in UW’s season opener against Rutgers, setting the tone for what would be one of the best seasons by a receiver in UW history.
Ross finishes his collegiate career with 22 touchdown receptions, 1,729 receiving yards and a school-record four kickoff-return touchdowns.
He likely will not be the only UW underclassmen to declare for this year’s draft; cornerback Sidney Jones, safety Budda Baker and defensive linemen Elijah Qualls and Vita Vea are all projected by CBS as potential first-or-second-round picks.