OT Charles Cross, Mississippi St.**

6’5” – 310 lbs.

Background:

Mississippi native who initially committed to Florida St. Redshirted three games into his true freshman season, then was named the starting left tackle the following year, a role he reprised as a redshirt sophomore before declaring for the draft.

Positives:

Athletically-built offensive lineman who won the team’s left tackle position as a redshirt freshman and has two years of starting experience there. Very consistent on a snap-to-snap basis. The fundamentals of his pass sets look very good, with an appropriate base, good knee bend, and a straight back. Recognition skills/awareness are impressive for a younger player. Gets enough depth in his kickslide to defend the edge against speed; lateral quickness looks good. Can chip one opponent and recover to defend the edge against another. Accurate hand placement and reset, with a nice level of activity. Generally drops an early anchor. Nice short-area movement skills to cross a defender’s face and seal them inside. Keeps his legs churning after contact to generate push in the run game. Solid grip strength to sustain through the whistle. Capable of finishing off opponents when he has them on the ropes.

Negatives:

Physical and athletic tools are above-average but not elite. More workmanlike than nasty; generally a wall-off blocker, not a dominator. Was typically playing out of a two-point stance and only has experience at left tackle, so may have a bit of a learning curve in terms of footwork depending on where he ends up. Can occasionally be jolted by power on contact, and gets grabby when overwhelmed. Would like to see him fire out his punch more aggressively. Can be a little bit of a leaner when opponents go to their spin move. Pad level is a little bit high on rushing downs. Did have to secure some hook blocks, etc.

Summary:

May not be as big, powerful, or athletic as some of the other top tackle prospects in this year’s class, but is arguably the most impressive in terms of his overall awareness, consistency, technique, and just the overall polish he has as a redshirt sophomore; more pro-ready than players who have one or two more years of starting experience at the college level. Looks like an easy first-round pick as a potential blindside protector with a high floor. Could theoretically play in either an inline or zone-blocking scheme, as he has enough power to win in a phone booth and enough short-area quickness to reach more difficult blocks if needed.

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