Clemson Tigers star receiver Justyn Ross expected his name to be called at some point during the 2022 NFL draft. After all, he had managed to come back to the football field in 2021 with 524 yards and three touchdowns. Ross went undrafted due to his complex medical history and eventually did get signed by the Kansas City Chiefs.
Justyn Ross had a congenital fusion of his upper cervical spine and then a surgical fusion at a level below performed by Dr. David Okonkwo, a respected Steelers doc. Many teams had taken him off their draft boards, so the risk was real. But the talent is also real. Lands in KC. https://t.co/GcK4HR1q6O— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 2, 2022
Ross broke out during his freshman season at Clemson, recording 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns as the Tigers won the national title. He followed that campaign with 865 yards and eight touchdowns. After missing the entire 2020 season with the spinal injury, Ross did come back for the 2021 season. Even though his numbers were depressed, his previous production and comeback suggested he could still play football at a high level.
NFL teams were not quite as convinced, as Ross fell out of the draft entirely. The Chiefs, who traded top receiver Tyreek Hill in the offseason, had a need at the position. In Ross, they’re getting a prospect with tremendous upside and little financial risk. The Clemson receiver has an opportunity to prove himself and will likely be motivated by his draft snub. We’ll see how much of an impact he can make at the next level.