After backing up as a freshman, Ross joined the corner rotation as a sophomore, finishing with 36 tackles and an interception. As a junior, he became a dual threat standout. As a corner, Ross had a team high three interceptions, and added 62 tackles to go along with it. His biggest impact was as a punt returner, where he earned All Big 12 1st team honors after averaging 14.7 yards per return, and taking two back for touchdowns. Ross put it all together this year, winning the Thorpe award, for the nationís top defensive back. He finished the year with 73 tackles, three for loss, a sack, and five interceptions. He also averaged 11.5 yards per punt return, and took one back for a touchdown.
Aaron Ross has a great blend of skills. His athleticism, quickness, and speed make him an impact performer as a cornerback and return man. He has the ability to stick with receivers in and out of cuts, and the speed to run with them down the field. Ross also shows the ball skills to locate the ball while it is in the air and make a play on it. His playmaking skills as a punt returner add to his value.
Ross is a work in progress as a corner. He relies on his athletic gifts too often to make plays. He is also going to have to bulk up and get stronger at the next level. He has a thin frame, and can have problems against more physical receivers.
Ross has a lot of upside as a corner, but may need time to develop his skills. His ability on special teams should allow him to get on the field early however, and that may entice a team to take him earlier than expected considering the work he needs to put in as a corner. Ross looks to have pushed himself into the first round range with solid showings at the combine and his pro day.