Bestinau got that-
The Kansas City Chiefs are set to sign one of the top undrafted free agent receivers in the 2022 NFL draft class.
The Chiefs added former Clemson WR Justyn Ross to the roster shortly after the conclusion of the draft. Ross was a standout as a true freshman at Clemson in 2018, posting 46 receptions for 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns, in addition to six receptions for 153 yards and a touchdown in their national championship win over Alabama. He was a rising star in college football and a surefire future first-round draft pick, but a serious neck injury derailed his college career shortly after his sophomore season.
The work to bring Ross to Kansas City was very diligent according to Chiefs GM Brett Veach, who evoked last year’s selection of Trey Smith as an example. He also explained that Ross has been cleared to play by team doctors.
“With Justyn (Ross), everyone kind of knows the story,” Veach began. “He’s certainly a really talented individual that has gone through his share of injuries at Clemson. One thing, trying to go back to last year and the Trey Smith set up, I mean, I’ve always said that our docs are on the more conservative side. We spent a lot of time, and I know our doctors at KU spent a lot of time talking to the experts that dealt with Justyn. He’s cleared.”
Veach puts a lot of trust into the training and medical staff in Kansas City, who inform all of his personnel decisions when it comes to players who’ve dealt with or are dealing with injuries.
“Really, I think, when you take away the neck situation — and again our docs did a great job of exhausting all of the information — for me, it’s a little easier on how I operate,” Veach said. “I know how good our medical staff is, both Rick (Burkholder) and his crew and the doctors we have at KU, if they tell me, ‘Yes.’ I feel good. If they tell me, ‘No.’ I don’t try to become a doctor all of the sudden. If our docs say good, we’re good.”
As for why Ross went undrafted in the 2022 NFL draft, there were a lot of unknowns for him during the course of the process. He tested poorly relative to expectations at the Clemson pro day, with a 31.5-inch vertical, a 116-inch broad jump and a 4.63 40-yard dash time. Ross dealt with a foot injury late into last season at Clemson. Veach suspects the recovery from that injury impacted Ross’ ability to prepare for the pro day.
“I think one of the things that popped up was a foot (injury),” Veach said. “So that hindered him late in the season and then I think, he really didn’t have time to test and train. I think it was a combination of a lot of things, why he fell. Obviously, most of it had to do a couple of seasons ago with the neck. But I think then, you throw in the foot and not having time to test.”
One of the reasons that Ross ended up in Kansas City was because of Veach’s relationship with his agent. He had multiple offers on the table, but he ultimately decided that the Chiefs were the best fit.
“I know his agent very well, Tory Dandy, who was Sammy Watkins’ agent,” Veach said. “We stayed in touch as the draft went on. When the draft ended, he was just going through some different options and we stayed in touch. Then, yesterday, we just connected again and we had the chance to just view all of the offers and the landscape of where everything was. He decided to come here.”
With rookie minicamp coming up this weekend for Kansas City, Veach says that the team’s expectations are on par with that of any rookie, drafted or undrafted. He’s going to be given a chance to compete, but making the team will all depend on the work he puts in.
“As far as expectations, it’s like a lot of these guys,” Veach explained. “Whether you’re a first-round pick or second-round pick, you’ve got to come in here and learn the playbook and you have to have the confidence in the coaching staff to execute your assignment, you have to have the confidence in Pat (Mahomes) for him to trust you to execute your assignment. If Justyn can do that, I’d say talent-wise, as long as he can stay healthy he’ll have a shot. But it will just come down to him and how he handles the playbooks and being moved around and staying healthy — being diligent in looking ahead in regards to preventative things he can do for his body. A lot of these guys are really in the same boat. When you come in here ”