What the Seahawks pick of Charles Cross means for the Los Angeles Rams

Mandatory Credit: Gary Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

Even though the LA Rams are sitting out Round one of the 2022 NFL Draft, other NFC West teams are still making picks.  The Seattle Seahawks selected OT Charles Cross with the 9th pick of the 2022 NFL Draft. Here’s what that pick means for the Los Angeles Rams.

The NFL Draft is arguably the most exciting sporting event that doesn’t actually involve a sport being played. So much intrigue and media attention are driven to the NFL Draft every year as the future of America’s biggest sports league start here.

For LA Rams fans, it is important to keep tabs on what the division rivals, like the Seattle Seahawks, are doing. The Rams play these opponents twice a year and oftentimes these games determine a playoff birth or spending a playoff series at home.

Offensive tackle Charles Cross out of Mississippi State is a pass protector that the Seattle Seahawks need to protect whoever ends up playing quarterback for them, whether that’s Drew Lock or Geno Smith (or a dark horse like Baker Mayfield). He played in the SEC and is a two-year starter out of Mike Leach’s air raid offense.

What this pick means immediately for the LA Rams

The Seahawks are building in the trenches and this is a pick that is very unlike them. The argument can be made that the Seahawks made this pick with the fierce pass-rushing units of the Los Angeles Rams and the San Francisco 49ers in mind – they need to protect their quarterback.

My notes from my scouting guide say it all:

"Charles Cross has some upside with his hand usage and overall footwork that could be cleaner. His handwork is still somewhat raw and underdeveloped, and that explains a lot of the penalties that he drew over his career. Once that’s cleaned up, and his footwork follows suit, he could be a very strong starting left tackle."

The biggest issue with Cross’s evaluation was the quick-throw style in which Leach operates his system. That means that the ball is typically out of the backfield in less than 3 seconds, which doesn’t allow for much-extended rep time to evaluate what he can actually do as a pass protector. Can he recover against a pass rusher when he starts to get beat? Can he handle power rushers? We didn’t get a good look at him doing that because of the style of the offense.

How can the Los Angeles Rams beat Charles Cross?

The Rams will be testing Cross early as he will be the “new blood” the first time these two teams square off. Cross is going to have to handle stunts and other attacks that the Rams design to confuse offensive linemen. They will have to test often and early with these attacks and see if he can handle them.

The Seahawks hope that Cross will be a bookend left tackle that they can anchor their future around. The jury is still out for that. This is potentially a pick that we look at in five years as a bust – but if Cross gets everything together, he could be a very good starter at the nest level.

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