2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Andre Ross Jr., WR, Union College
- Andre Ross Jr.
- Union College
- Wide Receiver
- 6’3, 195 lbs.
Andre Ross Jr. is a highly productive wide receiver out of Union College in Schenectady, NY. While he plays for a DIII program that has placed exactly one player in the NFL (Rich Romer, drafted in the 7th round in the 1988 draft by the Cincinnati Bengals), Andre Ross is a player who has the talent to play at the next level. Although some other receivers in DIII have outproduced him statistically this season, Ross is the type of player who regularly comes through with big plays in the biggest moments, all while playing within an offense that places a strong emphasis on establishing the run game with running back Ike Irabor. His accolades include Liberty League offensive player of the week (9/7/2021), ECAC DIII offensive Rookie of the year in 2018, Liberty League Rookie of the year in 2018, All-Liberty League First team (2018 and 2019), and three Liberty League Rookie of the week awards (9/4/2018, 9/10/2018, and 9/17/2018). Played in 9 games as a Freshman, recording 57 catches for 929 yards and 13 TDs, an average of 6.3 catches per game, 16.3 yards per catch, and 103.2 yards per game. As a sophomore, with teams gameplanning hard to take him out of games with double teams, he recorded 48 catches for 1022 yards and 12 TDs, 4 catches per game, 21.3 yards per catch and an average of 85.2 yards per game. Comes up big in key games, such as an 8 catch, 219 yard, 2 touchdown game against Salisbury in the 2019 playoffs, his biggest game of the season. Although Ross lacks the flashy accolades and eye-popping traits of many NFL-caliber wide receiver prospects, he showcases the tools and intangibles necessary to warrant at least a look from NFL teams. Games scouted in person: vs. Morrisville State, 9/4/2021 and vs. Hobart, 10/30/2021.
Strengths: Highly productive pass catcher, especially on outside routes close to the sideline. Consistently picks up chunk yardage, will pick up first downs at will. Deep threat who performs best under pressure; vs. Hobart caught a key touchdown pass that was the turning point of the game and generated momentum for the team. Had a touchdown called back on a holding penalty against Morrisville State, came through with a touchdown in the same spot in the endzone two snaps later. Operates as a leader both on the field and on the sideline, can regularly be seen talking teammates through their assignments. Natural leader who can be seen coaching up teammates on the sideline as well. Teammates gravitate towards him when the defense is on the field. Most of his time on the sideline is spent staying loose and throwing/catching the football with his quarterback and other receivers. Good ability breaking down opposing defenses while on the field. Solid route runner. Solid hands. Able to play in adverse conditions such as rain and remain productive, such as against Hobart, where he recorded 7 receptions for 175 yards and a touchdown (also drew a key pass interference penalty late in the game that put Union in scoring position in a game where he was often underthrown or overthrown by his quarterback due to rain throughout the game). High school basketball player who will win in jump-ball situations. Capable of going up to get the ball over the top of a defender, and can often come down with a one handed grab. Good awareness of his positioning, will make catches along the sideline but remain inbounds. Regularly picks up chunk yardage after the catch. Plays with swagger, confident but not a head case. Plays in a run-heavy pro-style scheme but is consistently gameplanned against due to his ability, but continues to put up numbers when the ball is thrown his way. Willingly blocks on designed runs and when the ball is thrown away from him. Willing to make tackles on turnovers. Although he plays DIII, comes from a conference that recently placed Ali Marpet in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Weaknesses: Level of competition; it is always a tough road from DIII to the NFL. Much of his production comes outside of the hashmarks; would like to see him make some more plays between them. Speed is sufficient rather than elite. Blocking can use a bit of improvement at times, but this is an element of his game that has steadily improved since his freshman season. Muscular build, but could benefit from a bit of added weight (although smaller receivers are finding niches in NFL offenses). Dominant against DIII corners and safeties, but how will he play against NFL-caliber talent? Likely a niche player at the next level given his body of work in college. Lack of readily available film in an under-scouted conference may make it difficult for teams to get a read on him as a potential prospect.
Synopsis: Andre Ross Jr. is a player who faces an uphill battle to find his way into an NFL camp, but his body of work in college, his work ethic, and his ability to come up big in clutch situations warrant a long look from NFL teams. Likely will start out as a practice squad player or camp invite if he gets a chance at the next level, but Ross is the type of player that could be a home run for the right team. While he may never develop into a #1 in the NFL, could carve out a productive niche as a sideline threat. DIII receivers struggle to catch on in the NFL, but players such as Jake Kumerow and Pierre Garcon show that it is possible. Ross will likely be undrafted, but deserves a look as a camp invite or UDFA. Will not be highly scouted heading into the draft season, but could be a great diamond in the rough for a team to roll the dice on. The intangibles and the production are there. Will they translate into an NFL opportunity?