If you’re looking for an unexpected early standout in New England Patriots training camp, look no further than Devin Ross.
Ross, a 25-year-old wide receiver who spent most of last season on the Patriots’ practice squad, has provided several of the splashiest offensive plays of camp thus far.
On Monday, in the Patriots’ first padded practice of the summer, he hauled in a deep ball from Brian Hoyer, beating second-year cornerback Joejuan Williams on the play. He and Hoyer hooked up again Tuesday, that time getting a step on veteran Jason McCourty down the left sideline.
Ross also beat reigning Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore for a touchdown in a non-padded practice last week, per a report from Patriots.com.
The scope of the Patriots’ roster battle at wideout has narrowed following the releases of Sean Riley and Quincy Adeboyejo and Marqise Lee’s opt-out, and with Jeff Thomas, Will Hastings, Julian Edelman and now N’Keal Harry all missing practice time this week, Ross has seized his opportunities.
And Bill Belichick has noticed.
“Devin’s a hardworking kid,” the Patriots head coach said in a video conference before Wednesday’s practice. “I think when we got him last year, I’m not sure that he was 100 percent healthy. He was healthy, but I think he’s gained — plus he’s had an offseason (in the Patriots’ system). Even though it’s not been supervised in the building, it’s still been supervised training.
“I think that he’s improved from this year to last year. We’ll see how things go here, but yeah, he looks like he’s ready to go and ready to compete, and we’ll see how that all comes together.”
Ross, who doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page, joined the Patriots’ practice squad last October following stints with the Tennessee Titans — who signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2018 — and Philadelphia Eagles. The Colorado product has yet to appear in a regular-season NFL game.
With Edelman, Harry and Mohamed Sanu all expected to make the 53-man roster, Ross is battling with Damiere Byrd, Jakobi Meyers, Gunner Olszewski, Thomas, Hastings and Isaiah Zuber for one of the final few receiver spots.