The Bengals wanted to get faster this season. They reached that goal and then some when they added Ross, who ran a record 4.2 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine.
"We've got the fastest guy in the NFL," Dalton said. "Obviously that's a good thing to have.
"Teams will have to know where he is because of that speed. It may level out some of these safeties who are tilting toward A.J. [Green]. Now when you’ve got a guy who can run like he can, you’ve got a big threat going deep."
The Bengals also added Josh Malone, whose 4.40 40-yard dash at the combine essentially went unnoticed due to Ross.
How fast is Ross compared to the other receivers on the team? Here's how the other wideouts ran the 40:
A.J. Green: 2011 NFL combine, 4.5 seconds
Brandon LaFell: 2010 NFL combine, 4.58 seconds
Tyler Boyd: 2016 NFL combine, 4.58 seconds; 2016 Pittsburgh pro day, 4.47-4.52 seconds (estimated by scouts)
Cody Core: 2016 NFL combine, 4.47 seconds
Alex Erickson: 2016 Wisconsin pro day, 4.52 seconds
For comparison, former Bengals wideouts Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu ran a 4.46 and a 4.67, respectively, at the 2012 combine. Sanu upgraded his 40 time to 4.41 seconds (hand timed) at the Rutgers pro day.
Ross' pure speed is on another level from his teammates, but it could be some time before anyone sees how his football speed in pads stacks up. Ross still is recovering from labrum surgery and won't be cleared by minicamp on June 13.
His participation would have been limited regardless of his medical status because he won't graduate from Washington until June 10. Because Washington runs on the quarter system, Ross is limited by NFL rules as to how much he can participate until school concludes.