John Ross, the man who should have won an island for running the fastest 40 yard dash ever but he wore Nikes over Adidas, has retired.
Coming out of Washington in 2017 not on many radars, Ross got everyone buzzing for the first time at the combine in a long time after posting the fastest time ever.
The fastest man in the NFL went on to have some highlights but to the untrained football mind they could not see how someone with super speed could not be absolutely dirty in the NFL. After a very uneventful rookie year with only 3 targets, Ross went on to have a decent sophomore season with the Bengals that make up most of these highlight tape plays.
The thing is his upward trajectory was stalled in the next coming seasons, he struggled to statistically improve after his sophomore season.
If you look at his highlights and how coaches implemented him in the office, you can see how they all were routes optimized to take advantage of his speed. They played to his strength but those routes at that speed ain't easy on the body. You see like a lot of things that are built for speed, they aren't built to last. F1 cars are a good example.
at 5'11 and 188 lbs John Ross took some damage while moving at speeds higher than most and his injury report shows the built up damage from not just college but the NFL
The former #9 overall pick dealt with the problem that he was a one trick pony that once injuries and mileage took his speed had nothing else to give. A guy like DK Metcalf who is a famous fast but can't turn guy is also a physical beast, his body can move fast and he is large. The inability to gear down when you are moving as fast as John Ross makes you an inefficient route runner when it come to double moves. When the defense knows all you are going to do is run as the crows flys A-B somewhere fast they can put a guy over top of you and once see what direction you are going deduce the destination John Ross was seeking.
He was fast, even tried to race Usain Bolt.
But as Usain Bolt demonstrated in Puma casual wear sneakers, he is definitely way faster as he tied him casually in pants.
Some don't even believe Ross ever was that fast. Former fastest man in the NFL Chris Johnson doesn't even believe he ever broke it and it was fake.
The John Ross dilemma actually inspired scouts to look at different types of speeds rather than just the 40 yard dash. Cooper Kupp famously had the fastest play speed while using GPS data.
John Ross may have ran a 4.22 but when have to get out of breaks in routes and turn, his play speed may have show he had to unaccelerate too much and actually be slower then a guy like Kupp who can slow down to turn easier and thus faster.
John Ross may show that you can be too fast sometimes for football.