Ten days after he held up the jersey, John Ross held the pen.
John Ross does everything fast.
And that includes sign his first NFL contract.
Ten days after the Bengals took him with their first-round pick in the draft Ross signed his four-year deal Sunday with an option for a fifth after the Bengals broke their rookie minicamp following a Sunday morning practice. Ross, a wide receiver from Washington, joined fourth-rounder Carl Lawson in the fold as the first of two 11 draft picks to sign.
Ross, who set the NFL scouting combine 40-yard dash record back in March, won't return to Cincinnati until after his June 10 graduate per rules regarding players that attend colleges on a quarters system.
"It's great for John that this part of it is out of the way," said Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis in a news release. "This gives him the opportunity to focus on finishing school and then football and I think that's important."
Now we have an idea what 4.22 seconds equals.
"Being an inner city, not having that much growing up, just to come in and see a number like that is a bit different," Ross said. "I'm thankful to be able to even be in this positon."
It's a big month. The family plans to travel to Seattle for the graduation.
"Emotional for my family," said Ross, receiving a degree in American Ethnic Studies. "The biggest thing is just to see how happy my family is. That's really the biggest part. When I see them. I'm the first generation to go to a university and just to see how happy it's s going to make my mom and my grandmothers."
Ross didn't practice this weekend as his surgically-repaired shoulder heals, but he wore the No. 15, got in the huddles, and lined up behind his spot on each play. Wide receivers coach James Urban sent him back to Seattle with plenty of material to review since he won't be back until the last weekly volunteer practice and the June minicamp.
"I learned a lot. That was the big thing about the camp. I feel they trusted my ability," Ross said. "The biggest thing is getting all the mental reps in that I could. It's tough, especially coming in from a no huddle offense and being able to run as many (different) plays as you do here and not knowing how big the playbook is. I think I've got a good grasp of it already and Coach Urban does a great job making it simple."
Lawson, the Bengals' first pick in the fourth round out of Auburn, is an edge rusher who recovered from two injury-riddled seasons to register nine sacks, 12.5 tackles for losses and an All-SEC First-Team berth as voted by the coaches.
Lawson's father, Carl, a personal trainer in the Atlanta area, won a national championship with Georgia Tech but lasted until only until the second cut of the 1991 Dolphins training camp. His son never won it all, but now has a four-year NFL deal.
"We're switching on and off. My plan is to carry on the Lawson legacy as best I can," Lawson said. "One, he was a great father. And then the added bonus he helped me out with football and athletics."
After playing SAM backer for three days for the first time in the Bengals 4-3 defense Lawson is confident he'll be up to speed by the time of the opener.
"There's a lot of stuff I still need to learn in due time. Especially because we've got pre-season games and camp (for) a month-and-a-half, two months," Lawson said. "I think that's plenty of time because in three days I think I made a lot progress."
SLANTS AND SCREENS: Another guy who made a position switch this weekend is Oklahoma linebacker Jordan Evans, the first of the two sixth-round picks who worked at WILL after playing the middle in the Sooners' 3-4. The 6-3, 234-pound Evans is a big man for a guy that runs 4.51 seconds like he did at his pro day 40-yard dash. If he can mix it up physically to match the speed, he'll be around awhile.
"It's not too big of a transition. It's been smooth," said Evans, who would have been the fastest backer at the combine if invited. "That's what they said. I'm going to write my story starting now."
Asked the storyline, Evans said, "Hopefully as a great, but I have to make the team first. That's the focus."
One thing that was normal this weekend was making sure he hooked up with second-round pick Joe Mixon like they did at Oklahoma when the backers covered the backs in passing drills.
"We usually try to go against each other," Evans said. "He likes it because I can run with him and give him a competition. At the same time he's one of the best running routes."
Easy, Evans said. Mixon is the best back he's faced in practice and a game.
"He can run. He can play like a receiver … He can juke you, truck you," Evans said. "He's running low 4.4s (40s) and he's 235. Tell me who's doing that." …
Fourth-round pick Ryan Glasgow, the Michigan defensive tackle who drew raves from Ohio State, seems comfortable. And why not? Fourth round DTs have done quite well here with Domata Peko and Geno Atkins and, the hope is, last year's fourth-rounder Andrew Billings, shelved the whole season by a knee injury.
And Glasgow knows these guys, thanks to Michigan defensive line coach Greg Mattison.
"If we were watching any NFL tape it was the Bengals," Glasgow said. "He coached Carlos Dunlap at Florida and I liked watching him, too.
"We watched a lot of sub stuff, the pass rush. I think it was because of technique and just the way they got after it."
That meant he didn't see a lot of Peko, but when he saw tape here this weekend he knew why he's been playing more than decade. The 6-3, 302-pound Glasgow's game is also physical
"Huge guy who did his job in the run game and made the defense better," Glasgow said. "I like that physical style, getting after it, setting the tempo."
It also means he's seen plenty of Atkins, the five-time Pro Bowler in the nickel rush. And can't get enough even though Glasgow is seen primarily as a run-stuffer.
"He's an animal. He hasn't done it one or two years. He's done it the past five or six years. He's been absolutely dominant up front. Seeing him operate and then you watch the practice tape and he's doing everything he does in a game in practice."
Photos from the Bengals Rookie Mini Camp on Friday, May 5, 2017.