Draft Day 2022: Hawks get a new left tackle

The Seahawks eschewed drafting outside linebacker Jermaine Johnson, instead filling their void with left tackle Charles Cross.

It’s a redux of 2010, when they drafted Russell Okung to anchor the left side.

Some analysts who know the Seahawks’ penchant for a balanced offense don’t think Cross has the necessary run-blocking skills. But he graded second in the SEC in run blocking last season, per PFF.

No one doubts his pass blocking, as he faced the premier pass rushers in the NCAA and held his own.

What analysts say:

Dane Brugler: “Cross lacks ideal bulk and power, especially in the run game, but he processes things quickly and shows outstanding hand exchange and movement patterns in pass protection. He projects as an NFL starter with Pro Bowl-level talent thanks to his pass blocking.”

Rob Rang: “Gifted pass blocker with ideal initial quickness, lateral agility and length to mirror, but his inexperience out of the three-point stance will lead to widely varying grades for some teams.” 

Daniel Jeremiah: “Cross is a left tackle prospect with ideal size, length and balance for the position. In pass protection, he has average foot quickness and knee bend, but he always stays attached to blocks. He absorbs power rushers after hopping back a few steps. Cross is very aware versus twists and stunts, and he has enough athleticism to slide and redirect to cover up counter moves. In the run game, he doesn’t roll his hips at the point of attack, but stays on his feet and flashes upper torque to turn and dump defenders. He takes outstanding angles working up to the second level. Overall, Cross doesn’t have elite agility or power, but he gets the job done. He should emerge as a quality starter early in his career.”

Samuel Gold: “Charles Cross is a very good pass blocker and his inability to run block is extremely overblown. His scheme didn’t have a ton of it, but he showed the footwork and angles to be a great reach blocker in the NFL. Plus his drive blocks for midzone weak will be fine.”

As for Johnson, who slipped deep into the first round, NFL teams reportedly had character concerns about him and did not rate his playing ability as highly as media analysts did. The Jets, thought to like him in the top 10, ended up moving back into the first round to grab him at 26.

If the Seahawks wanted Derek Stingley Jr., as reported, they had no shot because Houston decided to take him at No. 3. Albert Breer had reported the Hawks were high on him and the Texans were going to try to move up from 13 to get ahead of Seattle.

After Travon Walker and Aidan Hutchinson went to Jacksonville and Detroit, Houston quickly took Stingley at No. 3.

The Seahawks reportedly worked the phones to move down from 9 and were close to a deal at the last second, but they decided to take Cross.

After the Jets drafted WR Garrett Wilson, the Saints and Lions both came up for receivers. The Hawks likely were talking to one of those teams (the Saints?) as their time expired and Cross became their pick.

The Saints gave Washington No. 16, 98 and 120 for No. 11. By the Rich Hill trade chart, Washington got an extra fifth-round equivalent for that deal.

The Seahawks have been linked strongly to Stingley and LT Trevor Penning.

They reportedly did a lot of research on Stingley, clearly trying to figure out whether he can be the star he was at LSU in 2019.

But Tony Pauline reported that the Hawks wanted to move down and take Penning.

Instead, they ended up with Cross.

3 thoughts on “Draft Day 2022: Hawks get a new left tackle”

  1. It’s a solid pick. Given that this was the centerpiece of the Wilson trade, Schneider pretty much had to go for a cornerstone position.

    FWIW, I’m skeptical that they were serious Stingley. If the injury history had blown up in Schneider’s face after McDowell and Penny, he wouid have been fired. Throw in the Collier fiasco and Schneider was going to make the safest pick he could.

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  2. A lot of offense so far — LT, RT, RB. But no reaching for a QB and also added a pass rusher. Really good start.

    Figure CB and LB on Day 3 …

    Like

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