The New York Giants have made improvements on their offensive line through free agency. However, they did not address one of the five positions on the line: right tackle. Right tackle is arguably the biggest weakness on the Giants’ roster. It seems evident that New York is planning to address this position in the first round of the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft. There are a number of tackle prospects that the Giants could target in the first round, including Mississippi State prospect Charles Cross who has been shooting up draft boards in recent weeks. Should Charles Cross be the Giants’ top offensive tackle target in this year’s draft?
Pro Football Focus has updated their Big Board recently and moved Charles Cross to the top of the list of offensive tackle prospects. Cross was once looked at as the third or fourth-best tackle option in this draft, the second-tier tackle. But after strong showings at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine and Mississippi State’s Pro Day, Charles Cross has seen his draft stock skyrocket. The New York Giants have been connected to Cross with a lot of buzz regarding their interest in the prospect. Charles Cross is an elite pass-protector that could be a perfect fit for the Giants.
What Charles Cross could bring to the Giants
The New York Giants started keying in on Charles Cross at his Pro Day. In a post-Pro Day interview, Charles Cross said that he is hearing from a bunch of NFL teams, but he is “is hearing most from the Jets and Giants.” According to a report from Jon Sokoloff (WCBI Sports Director covering Mississippi State), “multiple New York Giants scouts praised Charles Cross after his Pro Day concluded.” He also noted that there were many Giants staff members in attendance, including OC Mike Kafka, OL coach Bobby Johnson and assistant OL coach Tony Sparano Jr.
With Charles Cross’s draft stock rising, he could be a serious target for the Giants with one of their two top-ten picks. But should he be their top-ranked tackle prospect this year? Cross’s proficiency as a pass-protector might make him the best fit for the Giants out of all of the top-ranked tackle prospects.
Charles Cross allowed only 16 pressures on 719 pass-blocking snaps in 2021 (PFF). Cross has good length from the tackle position and eye-opening agility that allows him to excel in pass protection. For years, the Giants have struggled to protect the quarterback. And now, with Brian Daboll implementing a pass-heavy offensive scheme, the need for an excellent pass-blocking tackle has heightened. Charles Cross is the best pass-protecting offensive tackle in the 2022 NFL Draft, making him a perfect target for the New York Giants.