While there isn’t a Josh Gordon or Terrelle Pryor in this season’s crop of NFL Supplemental Draft prospects, one available player does have some intrigue as a late-round option: O.J. Ross.
A versatile wide receiver out of Purdue, Ross spent the last three seasons becoming an integral part of the Boilermakers’ passing game.
An athletic receiver with the size (5’10’’, 188 pounds) to thrive out of the slot, Ross makes his mark going across the middle and exploiting coverage mismatches against slower linebackers and safeties. During his time with the Boilermakers, he also pitched in as a runner and kick returner, so the versatility is there for him to contribute on a number of levels. While still a raw prospect who needs work with route running, concentration and maturity, Ross was the most productive collegiate player of the six available.
Throughout his three-year career at Purdue, Ross racked up 100 receptions for 959 yards and six touchdowns. His biggest season came last year during his junior campaign, when he hauled in 56 passes for 454 yards and two touchdowns. Unfortunately, a senior season dripping with potential fell victim to off-field issues that led to him entering the 2013 NFL Supplemental Draft.
The trouble began, however, in 2011 when academic issues forced Ross to sit out Purdue’s Caesar’s Pizza Bowl appearance and subsequently led to his scholarship being taken away. Although he was later reinstated, the problems didn’t stop there.
After a successful 2012 campaign, Ross again found himself in hot water. Last February, he was suspended from the team for violating an undisclosed team rule. The suspension led to him declaring for the 2013 NFL Supplemental Draft, where he stands a decent chance of getting picked up in the later rounds.
Even with his spotty off-field history, Ross could be worth the risk for a team looking to add some extra help at wide receiver. If a team is desperate and confident enough, Ross could hear his name called in the sixth or seventh round of Thursday’s draft.