Justyn Ross is getting his shot.
After going undrafted over the weekend, the former Clemson wideout has signed a free agent deal with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Once the draft concluded and the weekend had come and gone with Ross still not being signed, speculation ran rampant as to why. Turns out, Ross was just doing his due diligence, according to Chiefs GM Brett Veach, as he had multiple offers on the table.
“We stayed in touch as the draft went on and then when the draft ended, he was just kind of going through some different options and we just stayed in touch,” Veach said. “And then (Monday) we just connected again. He had a chance to just review all the offers and the landscape of where everything was, and he decided to come here.”
Ross’ medical history has been well documented. He missed all of 2020 after having surgery to repair a congenital condition in his spine. While that alone may have scared some teams off, Kansas City’s medical team has done its homework and the organization is extremely comfortable bringing Ross on board.
“I think with Justyn, everyone kind of knows his story,” Veach said. “He’s certainly a really talented individual that had gone through his share of injuries at Clemson. I’ve always said that our docs are on the more conservative side, and we spent a lot of time, and I know our docs at KU (Kansas) spent a lot of time talking to the experts that dealt with Justyn. He’s cleared, and I think really, when you take away the neck situation, and again, our docs did a great job of exhausting all the information, I think for me, it’s a little easier on how I operate.
“I know how good our medical staff is. If they tell me yes, I feel good. If they tell me no, I don’t try to become a doctor all of a sudden and try to say well, this team said this. No. If our docs say good, we’re good, and Rick (Burkholder, Chiefs trainer) and his staff said they’re good.”
On top of the spinal stuff, Ross played on an injured foot all of last season, before finally breaking it down the stretch and missing Clemson’s final three games. It hampered not only his production during the season, but also his Pro Day workout, ultimately taking a major toll on his draft stock.
“I think one of the things that popped up was a foot, and so that hindered him late in the season and then I think he really didn’t have time to test and train,” Veach said. “So, I think it was a combination of a lot of things, why he fell, and obviously most of it had to do with a couple of seasons ago with the neck.”
As far as the expectations go, Veach said they are the same as they would be for any other rookie that comes into their first camp, first round pick or undrafted free agent. If Ross takes care of business, and most importantly, stays healthy, the Chiefs know he is capable of getting on the field and producing.
“I think talent wise, as long as he stays healthy, he’ll have a shot,” Veach said. “It’ll just come down to him and how he handles the playbooks and being moved around and staying healthy and being diligent in regards to looking ahead and preventative things that he can do for his body. So, like a lot of these young guys, if he does those things, given the talent he has, he should be able to come here and potentially contribute.”
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