Report: Justyn Ross Signs Chiefs Contract as Free Agent After 2022 NFL Draft

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIMay 2, 2022

CLEMSON, SC - NOVEMBER 13: Justyn Ross (8) wide receiver of Clemson during a college football game between the University of Connecticut Huskies and the Clemson Tigers, on November 13, 2021, at Clemson Memorial Stadium in Clemson, S.C. (Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs signed Clemson wide receiver Justyn Ross as an undrafted free agent on Monday, per Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (h/t Andrew Groover of NFL Media).

Ross was widely expected to be drafted, and the B/R NFL Scouting Department notably gave him a Round 2 grade.

However, news emerged after the draft about health concerns. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network explained on Monday.

"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," Rapoport said.

"Many teams had taken him off their draft boards, so the risk was real. But the talent is also real. Lands in KC."

Ross is now with the Chiefs, which is a potentially great landing spot for the ex-Clemson star as he now gets to work with 2018 NFL MVP and Super Bowl-winning quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Here's a look at how the Kansas City depth chart may look after the addition of Ross.


Depth Chart

QB: Patrick Mahomes, Chad Henne

RB: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Ronald Jones II

FB: Michael Burton

WR 1: JuJu Smith-Schuster

WR 2: Marquez Valdes-Scantling

WR 3: Mecole Hardman, Skyy Moore, Josh Gordon, Justyn Ross

TE: Travis Kelce, Blake Bell

LT: Orlando Brown, Prince Tega Wanogho

LG: Joe Thuney, Nick Allegretti

C: Creed Humphrey, Austin Reiter

RG: Trey Smith, Darian Kinnard

RT: Lucas Niang, Andrew Wylie

Source: Ourlads


In 34 career games at Clemson, the 6'4", 205-pound Ross had 158 receptions, 2,379 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns.

He shined during his freshman year in 2018, catching 46 passes for a team-high 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns. Thanks in part to his efforts, the 15-0 Tigers won the national championship.

Ross also did well in 2019 (66/865/8), finishing second on the team in receiving yards and touchdowns.

Unfortunately, a spinal condition forced Ross off the field in 2020. ESPN's Adam Rittenberg provided more information in a Jan. 2021 article.

"Ross in June underwent surgery for a congenital fusion in his spine," Rittenberg wrote.

"He suffered what was thought to be a shoulder injury during spring practice in March, but X-rays revealed that two vertebrae in his spine were fused."

Brad Senkiw of All Clemson provided a deeper dive into Ross' injury and comeback in an August 2021 article.

"It's been unbelievable watching this young man's journey," Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said. "It's been 18 months to get to this point. Just incredibly thankful for the amazing doctors that he's had, but he put the work in."

Ross led Clemson with 46 catches and 514 yards (three touchdowns) in 2021.

Now Ross takes his talents to Kansas City. The pressure is off Ross to produce right away, as the Chiefs have reloaded at wide receiver after moving on from No. 1 wideout Tyreek Hill, who was traded to the Miami Dolphins and subsequently signed a $120 million contract.

They signed Marques Valdez-Scantling and JuJu Smith-Schuster and added Skyy Moore in the draft. Kansas City still has Mecole Hardman and Josh Gordon too.

Now that talented group has Ross as the Chiefs look for a return trip to the AFC Championship Game for the fifth straight year.