Special teams value would really help Justyn Ross

Ross is a longshot to make the active roster despite the hype in Chiefs Kingdom.

May 26, 2022; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Justyn Ross (8) runs drills
May 26, 2022; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Justyn Ross (8) runs drills / Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

You can say this much about Justyn Ross: he's doing all the right things as training camp begins in his second year on the Kansas City Chiefs.

Last year, Ross joined the Chiefs as an undrafted free agent wide receiver who was a household name in college football. Numerous injuries began to take their toll on Ross before he was even a junior at Clemson, however, and by the time the draft rolled around, all 32 franchises decided to use all 250 draft picks on other college prospects.

The Chiefs ended up stashing Ross away on injured reserve for his first season with the team, but as the Chiefs waved goodbye to Tyreek Hill, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Mecole Hardman and more in succesive offseasons, some K.C. fans have grown excited about the potential that Ross might bring back to the field if he's healthy once again.

Justyn Ross is doing everything he can to earn a roster spot in Kansas City.

But here's the downside to such projections: they're largely unfounded. Injuries have a way of lingering and body parts already given over to numerous surgeries tend toward unreliability over the long haul—entropy and all. And the Chiefs already have plenty of competition in the mix so the chasm between those who truly believe in Ross and those who do not is fairly wide.

Back to Ross, however. As a player potentially farther down the depth chart, Ross has largely been written off by some fans because he doesn't play special teams. And if you're going to be WR5 or WR6 for the Chiefs, you gotta be a Richie James or Justin Watson. Wait...

Yeah that's Ross playing special teams—or at least attempting to do so—in training camp practice on Saturday. Color us intrigued. Even better, as the offense took the field for early practice, Ross was getting some play with the first-team unit.

No one can deny Ross's raw skill set is the prototype for a big, physical pass catcher. He stands 6'4, 215 lbs. with good length, speed, and hands and runs great routes. Ross once caught 46 passes for 1,000 yards and 9 touchdowns as a freshman for the Tigers, which made him an instant hit with football fans. He followed that up with another 865 yards and 8 touchdowns.

With Kadarius Toney, Rashee Rice, Skyy Moore, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling already in the room, Ross is going to have to find his place on special teams if he wants to make the Chiefs' active roster in year two. The experience isn't there but the effort apparently is and that could be what the Chiefs need from him in order to secure him a spot.