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NFL Draft Profile: Charles Cross, Offensive Tackle, Mississippi State Bulldogs

NFL draft profile scouting report for Mississippi State offensive tackle, Charles Cross

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#67
Pos: OT
Ht: 6046
Wt: 307
Hand: 1068
Arm: 3448
Wing: 8100
40: 4.95
Bench: N/A
3-Cone: 7.88
Shuttle 4.61
Vert: N/A
Broad: N/A
DOB: 11/25/00
Eligible: 2022
Laurel, MS
Laurel High School

Charles Cross
Mississippi State Bulldogs


One-Liners

Average sized left tackle with great athleticism and excellent foot speed who excels in pass protection. 

Pros:

Two-year starter at left tackle who possesses great athleticism. Cross plays with excellent foot speed, allowing him to run speed rushers around the pocket consistently. Keeping a wide base with great knee bend, Cross stays on balance and can recover quickly because of it. His reactive quickness to mirror in pass protection is excellent. Anchoring at an above-average level, he uses his base to maximize his strength. Cross is patient with his punch and gets into the frame of rushers very consistently. He is poised to replace his hands when they get beat. His length is above average. Cross locates stunts quickly and has the foot speed to pass them off reliably. A very good positional blocker in the run game, Cross utilizes his quickness off the ball and athleticism to establish angles and leverage. His speed allows him to be a factor on screens to the perimeter and when climbing to the second level. 

Cons:

While he has been adding weight, Cross has to continue doing it as he has average size. Average lower body strength has to be bailed out by his balance and technique. Low and strong defenders are able to twist him. His patience can border on passivity as he is unable to gain the initiative. When outreached, Cross is unable to break the contact point. He is inconsistent at recognizing blitzes from the second and third level. In the run game, Cross does not displace opponents. 

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Summary:

Average-sized left tackle with great athleticism and excellent foot speed. Cross excels in pass protection thanks to patience, balance and excellent reactive quickness. He is a positional blocker in the run game, failing to displace defenders. Cross projects as a starting left tackle early on in his career. As he gets stronger and learns more techniques, he has the potential to become one of the best pass protectors in the NFL. 

Background: 

Born on November 25th, 2000, Charles Cross attended Laurel High School, playing tackle there for his entire tenure. Laurel High School is a top-15 rated school in Mississippi per MaxPreps, suggesting that Cross consistently faced top competition. He dominated the trenches throughout high school, earning multiple accolades. Those accomplishments include being chosen for the 2019 U.S. Army All American Bowl and earning first-team All-State honors from the Mississippi Association of Coaches. Cross was rated a five-star prospect in the 2019 class, per the 247Sports Composite. He received numerous offers from top-tier programs but chose to stay home and play for the Mississippi State Bulldogs. Cross played sparingly as a true freshman, eventually redshirting the year. As a redshirt freshman in 2020, he started in ten games and was the Bulldogs’ top offensive lineman. Cross continued along his superstar trajectory as a sophomore, allowing only five pressures and two sacks across 682 pass blocks. His performance earned him All-SEC First-Team honors and appointments to multiple All-American teams. Cross opted out of the 2021 Liberty Bowl and announced his intent to forgo the remainder of his college eligibility to enter the 2022 NFL Draft. Given his high school pedigree, recruitment profile, experience against top competition, and elite performances in 2020 and 2021, Cross is expected to be a first-round draft selection.


Grades

1st Round

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