The Seattle Seahawks are beefing up protection for whoever their quarterback will be in 2022, as they selected Mississippi State offensive tackle Charles Cross with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. This draft class is headlined by the big guys that reside in the trenches, and Cross is one of the best. The first-team All-SEC player started 22 games in his college career and was named Freshman All-SEC in 2020. Even at 6-foot-5, 307 pounds, Cross ran a 4.95 40-yard dash at the NFL combine, which ranked 10th among all offensive linemen.
Cross is the second Mississippi State offensive lineman to ever be drafted in the first round, with the first being Derek Sherrod at No. 32 overall in 2015. He will be a Day One starter that possesses the strength and talent needed to play tackle at the next level, and could be a very good starter for a long time.
Offensive line has been an issue for the Seahawks over the past couple seasons, and this pick will surely help Drew Lock, Geno Smith or maybe even Baker Mayfield step into Russell Wilson's shoes in 2022.
Pete Prisco: They had a glaring hole at left tackle, so they had to get a left tackle. With the run on them, they end up with a player who is good in pass protection but needs work in the run game. If Seattle wants to run it better, they picked the wrong tackle. But he is good at protecting the quarterback.
Rating: 91.57 (All-Pro)
Pro Comparison: Bryan Bulaga
Strengths: Long arms with great top-end speed. Good core strength. Good variance in his punch timing. Does a nice job allowing edge rushers to work too wide. Does a nice job adjusting his hands once engaged.
Weaknesses: Abandons technique when challenged inside with counters. Struggles locking onto defenders in space. Has to avoid oversetting and allowing defenders on his hip. Balance questions derived by leaning, reaching.
- 2021: All-SEC first team
- 2021: Three sacks allowed on 682 pass-blocking snaps