Charles Cross 2022 NFL Draft Profile: Everything to know about Giants' potential target

·2 min read
Mississippi State OT Charles Cross treated image
Mississippi State OT Charles Cross treated image

With the Giants likely having two Top 10 picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, an expected new GM will have various options to choose from at the top of the draft class.

As we profile each prospect Big Blue could target, let's take a look at Mississippi State T Charles Cross...

By The Numbers

- Height: 6-foot-5
- Weight: 305 pounds
- 40-time: N/A
- Vertical: N/A

- Stats: More than 20 starts at left tackle for Miss. State after redshirting.

- Accolades & Awards: 2021 First Team All-SEC

Prospect Overview

The Draft Network: Charles Cross is a redshirt sophomore that has started the past two seasons for Mississippi State. Cross has logged more than 20 starts at LT for the Bulldogs. Cross is an exceptional athlete with a great initial first step that makes it difficult for edge rushers to beat him around the edge. He is a fluid athlete in the open field, making it easy to redirect and match defenders' counter moves. In the NFL, Cross' best position will be as a left tackle who can athletically match up with some of the best edge rushers in the NFL. Cross lacks the true strength at the point of attack to be a dominant run defender, but in the right offense, he will be a great pass protector.

Pro Football Network: Being lean doesn’t stop Cross from being a violent and physical tackle who exudes competitive toughness. Finishing a play doesn’t always mean putting your man in the dirt, but it appears that the Mississippi State OT did not get that memo. Cross looks to punish his opponent every play, whether in pass protection or as a mauler in the ground game. Despite his lean frame, he’s powerful and displays a decent anchor in pass protection. Alongside his physicality and violence, Cross brings elite athleticism to the position. He’s explosive out of his stance, has exceptional footwork to mirror his opponent, and although not often required in the Bulldogs’ offense, he can rapidly get out to the second level. In addition, his change of direction is excellent, allowing him to recover swiftly when put in a predicament by pass rushers.

Why Cross makes sense for the Giants

As you can see, Cross isn't in the class of big, burly linemen who use brute force to get the job done. He's physical, yes, but his natural athleticism is on full display on every snap, and that goes for the run and pass game.

The pass is where he thrives, though, and the Giants certainly need a better pocket around Daniel Jones. Also, when you watch film, Cross has a knack for fixing himself when his footwork or hand placement isn't up to par against his pass rusher. He can shift mid-play to get where he wants to be -- a great skill to have no matter the level.

The main question with Cross in particular is this: Would it force a left tackle battle with Andrew Thomas? Thomas has earned the right to stay at left tackle after a solid sophomore campaign compared to his roller coaster rookie year. Many scouts believe Cross is a perfect fit on the left side -- that's where he played the last two years with the Bulldogs.

To me, Cross' athleticism is good enough to try him on the right side first. The footwork will be different, but Thomas seems to have found a rhythm at left tackle. No need to push him out now.

If Cross is taken, I don't think it would be with the Giants' top first-rounder, but they could easily draft him with the second -- if they believe right tackle is something he'd be willing to do at the NFL level. And do well.

NFL Comparison

The Draft Network: Houston Texans T Laremy Tunsil