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Nick Cross NFL Draft 2022: Scouting Report for Maryland S

BR NFL Scouting DepartmentContributor I

Mike Mulholland/Getty Images

HEIGHT: 6'0 1/8"

WEIGHT: 212

HAND: 9"

ARM: 31 1/2"

WINGSPAN: 6'4"

40-YARD DASH: 4.34

3-CONE: DNP

SHUTTLE: DNP

VERTICAL: 37"

BROAD: 10'10"

POSITIVES

— Physical tackler who triggers quick to the run. All gas, no breaks. Delivers crushing hits with no regard for himself.

— Secure tackler who gets the ball-carrier down and isn't afraid to front up ball-carriers.

— Shows good awareness and vision when playing the pass. Identifies threats well when in zone.

— Straight-line player who shows good explosiveness. Has quick feet to get out of breaks.

NEGATIVES

— Poor eye discipline at times. Can get sucked in with play action.

— Decent hip fluidity but can be slow with lateral movement and redirecting.

— Can struggle playing in man coverage at times. Lacks confidence in his pedal at times. Stops his feet and reaches too often.

2021 STATISTICS

12 G, 66 TOT, 3.5 TFL, 3 SK, 3 INT, 2 PD, 2 FF

NOTES

— All-Big Ten Honorable Mention (2019, 2020, 2021).

OVERALL

Nick Cross is an explosive athlete who excels in linear movement, which was verified by his 4.34-second 40 yard dash and 37" vertical at the combine. He has a high motor that allows him to flash all over the field. 

Cross is athletic enough to cover down over the slot, showing quick feet and burst to get out of breaks in the short game. He can be a leaner at times when in man coverage, causing penalties or allowing receivers to gain position on him. He also has shown some tightness when opening to cover downfield. 

Cross has decent ball skills to play the ball in the air, although can be late locating the ball at times. Although he's an explosive athlete who runs well, he doesn't always use it to his advantage. Displaying good fluidity and flexibility in coverage, he sometimes allows receivers to gain a step and has to recover to regain position.

Cross does his best work when playing the run. He makes quick reads and triggers downhill at full speed. He does a great job of filling running lanes with great angles and getting the ball-carrier down on the ground. Whether he breaks down or he runs through at full speed, he does a great job of not letting the ball-carrier leak for extra yards.

Ultimately, Cross is a good defender who has the athletic ability to defend the pass along with the physicality and strength to hold his own in the run game. He will need to continue to work on his pass coverage in the NFL, but he's able to play the pass from all levels. He has the skills to be a potential starter.

GRADE: 7.4 (High-level Backup/Potential Starter - 3rd Round)

OVERALL RANK: 68

POSITION RANK: S6

PRO COMPARISON: Darnell Savage Jr.

Written by B/R NFL Scout Cory Giddings

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