Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com projected that the Pittsburgh Steelers will draft Mississippi State offensive tackle Charles Cross with the No. 20 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft in Jeremiah’s first mock of the draft season on Friday.
Cross is a 6-foot-5, 310-pound native of Laurel, Mississippi. He declared for the 2022 NFL Draft after just three seasons with the Bulldogs.
Cross redshirted in 2019. In 2020, he was an opening-day starter at left tackle and started 10 games before being named to the All-SEC freshman team.
In 2021, he continued that dominance, making 12 starts at left tackle. He was named a first-tee All-SEC, won the Kent Hull Trophy as the best offensive lineman in Mississippi and was a first-team All-American.
“Cross is a solid player on tape,” Jeremiah wrote. “He plays with balance and he’s got quick feet. The Steelers need to continue to upgrade their offensive line, and Cross is ready to play right away.”
Steelers left tackle Dan Moore Jr. is set to return for the 2022 season, but right tackle Chukwuma Okorafor is an unrestricted free agent, potentially leaving a vacancy in the starting lineup for a player like Cross.
The Steelers also have potential draft needs at quarterback, interior offensive line, wide receiver, defensive end, inside linebacker, safety and cornerback.