It’s not the first time Kansas City Chiefs youngster Justyn Ross has faced high expectations.
The Clemson UDFA wide receiver has seemingly generated some sort of buzz since day one in KC, based on the early years of his college career, and he might be getting more hype than ever in 2023 now that he’s finally healthy. On June 5, NFL Network analyst Peter Schrager named him as a top-five WR breakout for the coming season during an episode of “Good Morning Football.”
“Number five [on the list] is Justyn Ross,” Schrager relayed. “I’ve got practice footage of Ross making a [big] play [here]… Everyone has spoken about Justyn Ross for two years in Kansas City circles — like, just wait until we get Ross on the field.”
Here was the play Schrager featured on the show, in case you missed it.
Schrager had Ross among great company, ranked next to three former first-round picks (Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave and Drake London) and one round two selection in New England Patriots prospect Tyquan Thornton.
Peter Schrager Challenges Chiefs WR Corps to ‘Step Up’
Schrager continued on, talking about the Chiefs for a bit after naming Ross as a breakout candidate.
“You look at this roster right now at the wide receiver position — we know they lost JuJu [Smith-Schuster], they lost [Mecole] Hardman and in years prior they’ve lost other players [namely Tyreek Hill]. Who’s going to step up?” Schrager challenged.
“Justyn Ross might be a guy to watch,” he voiced. “Justyn Ross has never played in an NFL game, he was not drafted, and yet you’re talking about breakout players — who’s a guy that no one’s talking about maybe nationally that might get some buzz locally and could be a player that’s like, where did this guy come from? Justyn Ross… let’s see what happens when it happens in the games, but this was a number one high school recruit, starred at Clemson, had injuries, and now is going to be on the Chiefs this year.”
Despite the praise from Schrager, among others, Ross is no guarantee to make the KC roster in 2023. Kadarius Toney, Skyy Moore, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and new second rounder Rashee Rice are probably the only locks at WR this summer, and there’s a ton of competition behind the top four.
The headliners, aside from Justyn Ross, are Richie James, Justin Watson, John Ross, Ihmir Smith-Marsette and promising UDFA Nikko Remigio.
Chiefs Fans ‘Argues’ Justyn Ross Is a Roster Lock
During a segment of Arrowhead Pride’s “Let’s Argue” with Mark Gunnels on April 21, a fan called Ross a lock to make the Week 1 roster in 2023. Here was how Gunnels responded:
“I had to start here, right?” The A.P. writer began. “As everyone anxiously awaits the NFL Draft, Chiefs fans simply can’t get enough of the former Clemson wide receiver. Before his injury issues, Ross was viewed as a first-round prospect. But he didn’t just fall out of the first round. He went undrafted.”
Gunnels went on: “In typical fashion, Kansas City general manager Brett Veach signed Ross after the draft. A foot injury kept him out of action last year — but now, videos are circulating that show him working out with none other than Patrick Mahomes.”
“Will Ross make the roster?” He asked, circling back to the hot take. “He’s definitely not a lock — but to say the least, he’s intriguing. Standing at 6-foot-4, Ross gives the Chiefs legitimate size in the wide receiver room. But Kansas City fans should be very cautious with their expectations.”
“Let’s take this one step at a time,” Gunnels concluded. It’s important to note that this debate occurred before the Chiefs drafted Rice.