Measurables: 6’4”, 307
Speed/Strength: 5.2, 20
Hops (vert/broad): 22.5”, DNC
Mobility (3-cone, shuttle): 7.83, 4.7
Best Traits: Length, body positioning, good base
Worst Traits: Way too upright in pass pro — defenders get inside his pads and press the play, not a gifted athlete and struggles in pass protection against talented defenders as a result.
It’s a good thing that interior linemen don’t have to sprint 30 yards or leap for a rebound — Ross isn’t going to wow anyone in those departments. But, he is a very good player in the run game, possessing a nasty little streak for such a nice guy. His length and strong hands, combined with a steady base, lets him nullify defenders when run-blocking, and it permits him to fend off pedestrian pass rush attempts.
The issue is that the NFL doesn’t have many pedestrian athletes. It’s not that Ross is too slow necessarily, it’s that he’s not quick — his footwork on film and the 3-Cone tell the tale. He struggled against elite speed in college, and everyone he faces in Sunday will have the same kind of speed. Another related issue is that while he may fire off the ball fairly quickly, he does so with very a upright posture. That tall bearing not only opens him up to defenders pressing the play, it also limits his lateral speed against the pass rush. Some of these issues are ones of technique and can be ironed out with advanced coaching, but some are just the result of how he’s made as a player.
Ross is projected as an NFL backup, and that sounds about right. He can man the center as well as play the left and right sides of the interior line. His versatility, strength, strong run blocking, and great work ethic probably gives him a shot in camp, but he will have an uphill climb towards becoming an every-down NFL starter.