2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: WR Justyn Ross, Clemson

2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: WR Justyn Ross, Clemson

Fantasy Football Rookie Analysis

2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: WR Justyn Ross, Clemson


It has been a roller coaster of a ride for former Clemson wide receiver Justyn Ross. His collegiate career started with two impressive seasons before a congenital spinal condition cost Ross the entirety of his true junior season.

He rebounded well enough in a redshirt junior campaign to opt for the 2022 NFL Draft, but another surgery in late 2021 only further clouds his long-term durability in the pros.

Height: 6-foot-3 5/8
Weight: 205 pounds
40 time: 4.64 seconds

In Ross’ true freshman season of 2018, he led the Tigers with exactly 1,000 receiving yards without starting a single contest. He averaged a healthy 21.7 yards per grab, which came down to 13.1 YPC when his reception volume increased by 20 catches as a sophomore as a starter. The effort earned him an honorable mention for the All-ACC team.

Table: Justyn Ross NCAA stats (2018-21)

Year School Class Pos Gm Receiving Rushing
Rec Yds Avg TD Att Yds Avg TD
*2018 Clemson FR WR 14 46 1,000 21.7 9 0 0 0
*2019 Clemson SO WR 14 66 865 13.1 8 0 0 0
2020 Clemson JR WR
*2021 Clemson rJR WR 10 46 514 11.2 3 0 0 0

*includes postseason/bowl games

It’s unclear just how much long-term potential may go unrealized after the spinal surgery. The 2021 showing wasn’t necessarily a fair barometer as Clemson’s quarterback situation wasn’t up to par following Trevor Lawrence’s ascension to the NFL.


  • Brings deceptive vertical game — build-up speed can catch defenders off-guard due to his fluidity
  • Excellent hands-catcher with plenty of highlight-reel receptions
  • Bendy receiver — can go down low and up high without missing a beat
  • Pronounced plant-and-drive on inside breaks creates instant separation
  • Wingspan to save errant throws
  • Tracks the ball well down the field and catches in stride
  • Productivity before the lost season shows potential ceiling
  • Lacks straight-line speed but plays faster than he times — tough to catch with a step or two on most defenders
  • Natural weapon in the red zone — height, hands, leaping ability, catch radius make a tough combination to defend
  • Consistently demonstrates spacial awareness near the boundary lines


  • Career longevity in question — despite receiving clean bill of health, will the spinal fusion shorten his career?
  • Underwent surgery in 2021 for stress reaction in his foot
  • Struggles to escape tight coverage without relying on his dimensions
  • Lacks explosion and burst from a dead stop
  • Thinly built frame — can get hung up by press coverage, which gets compounded by a tendency to waste steps off the line
  • Needs to improve his release off the line and consistency in and out of his breaks, especially on out routes
  • “Get in the way” effort blocker — technique is inconsistent, functional strength needs to improve

Fantasy football outlook

Ross probably comes off the board in the fourth or fifth round at the earliest, and an ideal situation for him will be in a system that emphasizes play-action passing and vertical routes. A deep receiver class is working against him.

Cleveland or Minnesota would make some sense, and Arizona also should be an intriguing landing spot. Green Bay’s system requires better blocking than we’ve seen from him, but it’s not a coachable area for improvement.

Ross won’t develop into a true WR1 but has No. 2 written all over him in the right settings. His profile reminds of Los Angeles Chargers and former Clemson receiver Mike Williams’ downfield skill set. There’s a little bit of 2021 rookie Terrace Marshall Jr. that shows up in his intermediate game.

In 2022 fantasy leagues, it’s unlikely Ross will present more value than that of a late-round roll of the dice. Being a rookie and — for now — more or less a one-trick pony works against him, regardless of where he winds up.


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