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Breakout Player Profiles: Aaron Ross

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They say it takes three years to judge a players worth in the league.

Aaron Ross drafted in 2007 was about to enter that threshold heading into the 2009 season, but unfortuantely for the NY Giants and Giants fans Ross spent much of his time out because of a nagging hamstring injury that essentially cost him the entire season.

Like the other (younger) players we profiled let’s look back at Aaron Ross past before we think about his future. Let’s start with some scouting reports for Aaron Ross heading into the 2007 N.F.L. Draft. To see what was expected of Ross and to compare that with what he has shown.

Scouting Reports

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During his first three years at Texas, Aaron Ross rotated with other defensive backs before getting his chance as a full-time starter. Ross was honored with the Thorpe award in 2006 as the nation’s top defensive back. He displayed his versatility while at Texas as an explosive punt return specialist, in addition to playing cornerback. Ross is a very physical player who delivers the big hit to receivers and backs. He is very good at run support and demonstrates the ability to make big plays on the blitz. Ross brings plenty of speed to cover most receivers downfield and quickness to cover sideline to sideline. He has a tremendous instinct to react once the ball is in the air and appears to have another gear available to make a play on the ball. Ross is still learning how to play cornerback, thus has plenty of upside based on his athleticism and skills. He will have to bulk up and increase his upper body strength to battle the bigger receivers at the next level. Ross needs a team that is willing to be patient for him to develop as a starting cornerback while taking advantage of his playmaking skills returning punts. He is likely to be an early second round pick, but could move to a late first round selection, with several teams in need of a cornerback.

from big blue

Scouting Report: Ross did not start until his senior season at Texas because the Longhorns were loaded at cornerback. He would have been a 4-year starter at another school. Ross combines very good size and athleticism for a cornerback. Long arms. Has good quickness and plays faster than he timed at the NFL Combine. Fluid and smooth. Instinctive in coverage, he makes plays on the football. Plays well in bump-and-run, man-to-man coverage. Not as strong when he plays off the receiver. Reacts and recovers quickly. Sometimes will gamble and get burned. Has good hands for the interception. Will stick his nose in there against the run – physical, but he needs to become a more consistent tackler. Excellent intangibles – high character guy who works hard. Competitive and confident. Very good punt returner. Respected analyst and former assistant NFL personnel director Pat Kirwan says: “There are a few teams right behind this selection that are upset. He was the target of a lot of teams in the bottom of the first round. Good ball hawk with 10 INTs and 33 passes defended. He was the third corner on everyone’s board.” In 2006, he started all 13 games for the Longhorns and was credited with 80 tackles, 19 pass defenses, 6 interceptions, 3 forced fumbles, and 2 fumble recoveries.

From Lance Zierlein

25. Aaron Ross, CB, Texas: Scouts fret over his inconsistency, but they all like his toughness

Aaron Ross had a reputation as a good athlete with good ball skills who was also an excellent punt return man. In the N.F.L. though Aaron Ross has had no impact as a punt returner. Ross was also praised for his willingness to play the run, and as Giants fans can remember he even suffered a shoulder injury in 2007 and still was flying up there to play the run.

In 2007 he started 9 games while playing in 15 games. He had 42 tackles 1.5 sacks and three interceptions.

 In 2008 he started 15 games registering 3 interceptions and 52 tackles.

Last year he played 4 games started 1 and played a lot of safety to try and stop the bleeding in the defensive backfield. Ross didn’t showcase much either way as a safety last year.

Heading into the N.F.L. Ross had a reputation of being inconsistent, did that carry through to the N.F.L. in 2008, according to Aaron Ross had 9 of his 15 games played with a positive ranking in pass coverage.

Of the 6 games that were not positive he had three games with very low rankings. He had one game with a -2.0 rating, one game with a -3.5 rating (the cleveland game the Giants lost) for pass coverage.

There were also two games that he had poor performance (based on  vs the run. a -1.4 vs Seattle against in run defense and a -1.3 Vs Carolina. (He had an overall positive rush defense ranking in the rest of the games)

This could speak to the inconsitency people were worried about when Ross was at the college level and heading into the pros.

The question is what do we expect from Aaron Ross this past season?

That’s a tough call. I remember reaidng something about Aaron Ross that basically implied that he had a lot on his mind in 2008 and that was his performances were up and down and that last year he realized how much he missed football and he was poised to have a good year last year (according to Ross), but that never materialized because he spent a lot of his time on the D.L. (I’m a big baseball fan too. Obviously D.L. is stricly a baseball term, but you get the point)

Aaron Ross is a big cornerback who is a pretty good player and a very willing run defense. He also can come at the passer.

Aaron Ross has been a solid pro, but he has been disappointing so far. If all the players in the 2007 draft class were to re-enter a draft right now Aaron Ross probably would not go again in the first round.

He has not been a bust, but he has been unspectacular. But maybe that’s what people should have expected-he was considered by many a project heading into the draft. When Ralph Vacchiano made his draft prediction for the first round of this year he linked back to his 2007 and 2008 predictions. I read through the 2007 predictions (he predicted that Aaron Ross would be the selection) and a lot of the comments there said things very similar to the Jason Pierre Paul prediction this year. “If we draft Ross I’ll throw my remote at the T.V.) if Ross is the pick my t.v. will be pushed out my window”

Aaron Ross was not conisdered, by any means a finished product. He was a player who had one year of starting experience at Texas, but a player who showed flashes and has great athletic ability and a very good frame.

Aaron Ross was not supposed to be great right away, but he has been solid.

This year, in 2010 Ross is coming off an injury plagued season that resulted in only four games played, meanwhile Terrell Thomas lead the team with five interceptions and might have pushed Ross out of the starting role, but maybe that’s what Ross needs. Maybe now he can compete for the punt returning job the GIants thought he might be able to take a hold of when they drafted him in the 1st round of the 2007 N.F.L. Draft.

I don’t know if Aaron Ross will breakout this year, but I think it’s very possible. I think no one expects it and people are counting him out right now (he’s almost like an after thought) but maybe we’ll get lucky and he’ll suprise us. The other reason I consider him a breakout candidate is becuase I think the Giants defensive coordinator, Perry Fewell, has shown he does a very good job with the secondary and he might be able to take someone like Aaron Ross who has great athletic ability and has been a willing worker in his life to another level.

What do you guys think about the prospects of Aaron Ross this season?

Aaron Ross New York Giants breakout candidate #5

Previous Profiles

Clint Sintim

LB Jonathan Goff

WR Hakeem Nicks

RB Andre Brown



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8 Responses to “Breakout Player Profiles: Aaron Ross”

  1. Steve B. says:

    I like Ross, think he is a good player, but there is going to be some serious competition for that number 2 CB spot between Ross and Thomas.

    Ross might actually be better in the slot, and I didn’t like how they moved him to safety last year, with all the new safeties on the team, i don’t have to worry about that switch, he can focus on his true position, CB

  2. Chris says:

    I always like Ross and still do. I think he and Webster are kind of the same. Both could have incredible breakout years, with Thomas, or both could be inconsistent. I agree with you – I think Fewell’s the guy to get the most out of them. Actually, I think it’s going to be a phenomenal year for the entire secondary.

  3. Jason C. says:

    He better break out, the one thing I think we’ll be remembering this draft is how the Giants failed to bring in a capable CB to fill out the roster, and if the guys we have now aren’t 100% we’ll be out-manned in the secondary all year again. Can Sinorice play CB?? haha

  4. Jeremy says:

    I’m rooting for you Mr. Ross.

  5. John Fennelly says:

    He’s gonna have to play 16 consecutive games first, then we’ll judge on how well he played in those games.

    This kid can’t stay healthy and the team is becoming frustrated, as are the fans.

  6. Jesse Cassel says:

    I agree that his health is a huge issue. I also agree that he should be in the slot, he was great there in 2007, Thomas showed some serious skills last season and I think he’ll win the number 2 corner job but with Webster on the other side and Ross covering a slot reciever the COULD have a great corner back core and the saftey upgrades well only enhance that and COULD lead to a really great secondary.

  7. CHeeKZ Money says:

    Thomas is very cocky. Which I think works well with a CB. I still think Ross is a starter. I just believe G-fans have seen what Revis has grown into in his three years and we feel kinda dissappointed b/c our guy didn’t turn into a shut down guy.
    Looking back we should have prob gone with Beason.. but who knew Webster was going to turn into a decent starter. We hated him before the playoff run.

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