Charles Cross NFL Draft Overview
Position: Offensive Tackle
Weight: 307 pounds
School: Mississippi State
Charles Cross 2022 NFL Draft Profile
After spending the past three seasons with Mississippi State, offensive tackle Charles Cross is officially declaring for the 2022 NFL Draft. Cross is coming off the best season of his young career, playing in 919 snaps while allowing just two sacks, no quarterback hits, and 14 pressure.
Cross originally entered the college football world as a five-star recruit in the 2019 class. After appearing in just three games as a true freshman, Cross earned the starting left tackle job in 2020. Now operating in a pass-heavy offense, the Missouri native allowed six sacks, five hits, and 33 hurries in 720 snaps.
- Insanely quick feet – won’t lose to speed on the edge;
- Long arms and wingspan allow him to engage defenders with ease;
- Extremely polished as a pass blocker – footwork and handwork act in unison;
- Has strength required to handle bull rushers;
- Improved every single year, showing he is a good learner and can grow in the NFL.
- Wasn’t asked to do much run blocking in college – will be an adjustment in the NFL;
- Holds when he gets beat – needs to learn to recover;
- Prone to mistime motions when run blocking;
- Susceptible to twist moves;
- Could stand to drop back further in pass sets.
NFL Comparison: La’el Collins on the left side
Projection: Top 5 pick
Bottom Line on Charles Cross
Charles Cross probably won’t be the first player off the board, but he will be one of the top five or 10. Built to play the position, Cross already has what it takes to step in and start on just about any offensive line in the league. His work as a pass blocker is remarkable for a collegiate prospect. He has the quickness to mirror any speed rusher in the game with the strength to hold up to bull rushes. While twist moves give him some trouble, it shouldn’t be too hard for him to learn a proper counter.
As a run blocker, however, Cross is still a work in progress. Mississippi State didn’t ask much of him in the run game, so he’ll need to learn the nuances of the position before his run blocking prowess matches that of his pass protection. The good news is that most of his flaws in this area come from a lack of experience, rather than an inability to execute. He has the physical tools to dominate in this facet of the game, and his continued growth throughout his collegiate tenure implies that he will put in the work to become the best player he can be.
In today’s pass-happy era, it’s more important to have a great pass blocker with flaws in the run game than a great run blocker with flaws in the pass game. With this in mind, it shouldn’t surprise anyone if Cross is the first offensive lineman off the board. He’s a Day 1 starter that will protect your quarterback, and he’ll only get better with experience.
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