While the quarterback position might not be as strong of a position as previous years, there is one position group that is stacked – those that are tasked with protecting the quarterback. Charles Cross, a prospect from Mississippi State, is considered to be one of the best offensive linemen in this class. In this 2022 NFL Draft scouting report, we’ll breakdown what makes Charles Cross so special, along with a predicted 40 time and injury history.
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Charles Cross 40 Time
While the 40-yard dash is not one of the most important parts of offensive line scouting, Cross should run a good time. A testament to his athletic ability, he will likely post a 5.07 40 time. The league average 40 time for offensive tackles is 5.24, which is much slower than what Charles Cross is predicted to run.
Charles Cross Injury History
Fortunately, Cross does not have any injury history to note. This, combined with just two years of playtime, means his body should be quite fresh for the NFL. As a result, NFL teams should receive a clean medical history on Charles Cross at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine in March.
Charles Cross Scouting Report
- Athletic Ability
- First Step Quickness
- Mirrors defenders to all levels
- Lean Frame
- Strength In The Running Game
- A limited number of run blocking reps
Charles Cross is a two-year contributor for the Mississippi State Bulldogs. Cross has played the left tackle position for the Bulldogs, in which he was responsible for protecting the quarterback’s blind-side. He has solid height and weight for the offensive line. Additionally, his predicted 40 time should be well-above the league average for the position. Named to the SEC All-Freshman team, the accolades haven’t stopped rolling in for Cross. He was selected as a First Team All-SEC member as well as the recipient of the Kent Hull trophy given to the best football player in the state of Mississippi. At 6’5” and 310 pounds, he has a leaner frame than most left tackles but supplements that with great athletic ability.
The best part of Cross’s game is his pass sets. His first step is almost always incredible and allows him to get enough depth to seal off the edge. Much of this is due to his athletic ability. In fact, defenders consistently struggle to get around the edge against him. Often choosing to bull rush him instead, his footwork is so good that he does a great job of anchoring down and nullifying it quickly. His hands are great as well as he times punches correctly and rarely allows his hands to get outside of the defenders’ frame. His athleticism shows up when he is asked to operate in space as well. Easily capable of executing blocks to any level, he mirrors defenders at an exceptional level.
Truthfully, there is not much to rip apart in Cross’s game. While his lean frame does give him his superb athletic ability, it also limits the amount of power he is able to generate. As such, he is never going to be a mauler type in the run game. While he is certainly effective in the run game, it is mostly due to body positioning. The biggest concern about his run blocking may end up being the lack of reps since he played in Mike Leach’s “air raid”.
Charles Cross NFL Draft Projection
Charles Cross is a tremendously talented offensive tackle prospect. As the NFL continues to evolve, players with his athletic ability become even more coveted. Due to this, and his immense gifts as a pass protector, Cross has a great shot at having his name called within the first ten selections. Personally, I think this is a perfectly fine landing spot for him. I would not even have a problem with the Jaguars selecting him number one overall. He has the potential to be an All-Pro early in his career.