STACY ROST

Seahawks Draft Pick Profiles: A closer look at new franchise LT Charles Cross

May 3, 2022, 9:02 AM
Seahawks Charles Cross...
Charles Cross poses after being selected No. 9 by the Seattle Seahawks in the 2022 NFL Draft. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

Our offseason profiles continued this week, this time moving from a preview of NFL Draft prospects a review of the newest Seahawks. Topping that list is left tackle Charles Cross, who became the Seahawks’ highest draft pick since 2010.

Why Seahawks draft, especially RB Walker, is Huard’s favorite since 2010

Here’s the latest rookie profile (don’t forget to tune in for Tuesday’s profile on running back Kenneth Walker).

The basics

Height/weight: 6 foot 5, 311 pounds
Class: R-Soph.
Notables: SEC All-Freshman (2020), First-Team All SEC (2021)

What you need to know

Cross was the third tackle off the board in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, but may be the best pass protector of the bunch – at least that’s the general sentiment you’ll keep hearing about Cross.

You’ll probably keep hearing that, in part, because most critics expect Seattle to return to a run-heavy unit without Russell Wilson (and with Pete Carroll taking the reins) but having a franchise left tackle who excels in pass pro is a boon for Seattle’s future long-term passer – and it certainly doesn’t hurt that he’ll be protecting a quarterback who could have DK Metcalf as another long-term target.

Jake’s post-draft scouting report

“(His combine measurements) don’t jump off the page to you in terms of what we’ve seen from left tackles of recent years, in terms of his overall athleticism, but don’t let that fool you into thinking he’s not an elite athlete. That is wrong. This is a player who had a very successful high school basketball career, a player who transitioned to left tackle, had lots of scholarship opportunities and decided to stay home in Mississippi State and it panned out beautifully. Playing under Mike Leach, he became an elite pass protector. I mean elite, elite. He’s faced some questions about whether or not he’s an Air Raid guy and just a product of that system. And the more you dive into Cross, you realize it’s more about him as an athlete; him as a balanced pass protector who doesn’t put himself in bad situations often. This is a guy who has the traits and abilities to transition nicely to the pros.”

But how does his skillset transition to a Seattle offense? Heaps points out that when given the opportunity to run block, Cross did well (with a Pro Football Focus grade of 92.3).

“Although he’s not been afforded the opportunities to prove that he’s a great all around pass and run blocker, he’s not a liability by any stretch… and I really view this as a scheme fit (for Shane Waldron and Andy Dickerson). Cross wouldn’t have been a tackle selected by Mike Solari or Brian Schottenheimer in a downhill, nasty tone-setting running scheme. But for Waldon and Dickerson in this zone-heavy scheme that relies on tackles to be great athletes and get to the second level and hook block and all of that? I think Cross is a perfect addition to this offensive line.”

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