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2022 NFL Draft

Top OT Evan Neal Won’t Work Out at Combine; Charles Cross to Participate



Charles Cross

INDIANAPOLIS — The offensive tackles at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis are one of the top position groups to pay attention to at large, but Evan Neal, one of the biggest names at the position, won’t be participating. Potential Steelers target Charles Cross will be.

Neal, the Alabama tackle who is not only considered the top tackle, but one of the top options to be the first overall pick in April, will sit out the combine according to a report by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Neal is a versatile tackle who has played both sides and will garner lots of interest from those at the top of the draft. As long as his pro day goes swimmingly, it is likely Neal ends up in the top five and a near certainty he ends up in the top ten.

Meanwhile, another one of the top three offensive tackles in the class will work out. Cross, a Mississippi State product, will do the full workout schedule in Indianapolis aside from the bench press, according to a report by Matt Miller of ESPN. Cross, who has been linked to the Steelers, can raise his stock as the third tackle. While he is now seen as a consolation prize, his athletic ability and tape can catapult him into the top ten.

Many prospects may be skipping the bench press this year, as it has been moved in the combine schedule to be on the same day as the on-field workouts.

Cross, Neal and NC State’s Ikem Ekwonu are seen as the top tackles in the class, following by Trevor Penning of Northern Iowa. Guard Kenyon Green of Texas A&M and Center Tyler Linberbuam of Iowa are also likely first-round picks.

The Steelers will be watching the offensive tackles with Chukwuma Okorafor heading into free agency. While starting left tackle Dan Moore will return in his second season, the hole at right tackle is significant. The potential for one of these top three tackles to fill that hole is possible, but the Steelers will have to hope one of them drops to them at No. 20.

Click for more coverage from Alan Saunders, Nick Farabaugh and Dan Angell, live from Indianapolis at the 2022 NFL Combine.