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The draft experts are all suddenly very high on him. 

Matt Miller, ESPN NFL Draft Analyst and founder of thedraftscout.com, recently said about Mississippi State left tackle Charles Cross, who is moving up his board: 

“He’s agile and long and plays without panicking. Lean frame that could add weight. Plays with a mean streak! Looks like a potential Rd1 player.”

Also: “Cross is — off the top of my head — the most athletic offensive tackle I’ve watched this year. Evan Neal is more powerful but Cross moves better.”

Mel Kiper Jr. has him at No. 6 overall on his draft board. 

He's off to a great start this season. 

Charles Cross 

Jersey: No. 67
Position: Left tackle
Height: 6-5
Weight: 305
DOB: 11/25/00
Draft eligible: 2022
Hometown: Laurel, Mississippi 
High School: Laurel 

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Background

Raised in Laurel, Mississippi. Five-star recruit according to 247Sports. Has two older siblings. Business administration major. Redshirt. Reportedly up to 305 pounds after arriving at 270 as a true freshman.

Pros

Great athlete with outstanding foot speed making him almost impossible to beat around the outside as he can run speed tracks around the pocket all day. Cross plays with excellent balance and is able to recover quickly because of it, showing great agility. He maintains a wide base at all times and keeps his feet moving at extension to mirror and stay on balance. His punch is well-timed and proactive when he can be, locking out and keeping most opponents out of his frame with above-average length. Cross recognizes stunts quickly and has the short-area quickness to pass them off consistently. He is a very good positional blocker understanding run game concepts and sealing off lanes. His athleticism allows him to succeed in space.

Cons

Built skinny and lacks strength which prevents him from creating movement in the run game. Cross gets knocked back at the point of attack. His strike packs below average force upon impact and he fails to latch onto opponents. Despite his wide base, he is simply not strong enough to anchor against pure power, conceding space and ending up in the passers’ lap. That lack of strength prevents him from power stepping to shut down counters or recover when his outside hand gets pinned.

Summary

Skinny left tackle with great athleticism. Cross is very technically sound for his age, showing good timing, balance and ability to mirror at extension. His functional strength is concerning as he fails to drive opponents in the run game and gets power rushed consistently. Cross projects as a developmental tackle who could be a very good pass protecting left tackle if he can get to average strength. That strength, he will have to find in the weight room as he maximizes what is there with his balance and technique.

Grades

7.7 (current value)/ 8.8 (potential value)

BamaCentral Analysis

Cross was pretty good last year, but he seems to have taken his game to a new level this season. It also helps that the coaching staff molded the line around him as the four other starting offensive linemen entered the 2021 season with just 53 combined career snaps at their current positions, including two who had never taken a snap at their respective 2021 positions. He played 738 snaps at left tackle last year and ESPN Stats & Information credited him with five sacks and 13 pressures on 556 pass blocks. After being named preseason second-team All-SEC by the coaches, he's played 314 snaps this season. He was named the SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week after not allowing a pressure on 51 pass attempts against against North Carolina State (88.8 pass-blocking grade). Cross also had a strong game against LSU.

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All this week, BamaCentral will profile numerous Mississippi State players as the Crimson Tide prepares to visit Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field on Saturday. Also check out NFL Draft Bible for more evaluations.

The draft experts are all suddenly very high on him. 

Matt Miller, ESPN NFL Draft Analyst and founder of thedraftscout.com, recently said about Mississippi State left tackle Charles Cross, who is moving up his board: 

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