The Seahawks selected in the Top 10 of the NFL Draft for the first time since 2010, and just like that first draft under Pete Carroll and John Schneider more than a decade ago, Seattle used their 2022 first-round pick on an offensive tackle they hope will become a key piece of their offense for years to come, selecting Charles Cross out of Mississippi State with the No. 9 overall pick
The 6-foot-5, 311-pound Cross, an ESPN and Sporting News All-America selection, becomes the Seahawks' first Top 10 pick since Russell Okung, who was selected sixth overall in 2010 and became Seattle's starting left tackle for the next six seasons.
"I was very excited," Cross said from Las Vegas on a conference call with Seattle-area reporters. "First thing I did was give my mom and dad a big hug. It's a surreal feeling, it's a blessing. I'm excited I'm going to Seattle to be with the 12s, some of the best fans in the league. I'm excited and I'm ready to get to work."
Cross, a first-team All-SEC selection last season, started 12 games at left tackle for the Bulldogs, and in Seattle he fills a clear need, as both of last year's starting tackles, Duane Brown and Brandon Shell, are currently free agents, leaving the Seahawks with only three tackles on the roster prior to selecting Cross. Even if Brown or Shell were to re-sign, the 21-year-old Cross gives the Seahawks a potential foundational piece for their offense for years to come.
While Cross played in a pass-happy offense at Mississippi State, he noted, "I love run blocking" and said Seattle's style of offense fits him well.
"It's a great organization," he said. "They preach physicality, toughness, nastiness, really everything you need to do to be successful. I'm just excited for the opportunity and ready to get to work."
Asked if physical, tough and nasty was an apt way to describe him, Cross quickly replied, "It definitely describes me."
Barring a trade, the Seahawks will next pick in Friday's second round when they have picks No. 40 and 41, then in the third round at pick No. 72.
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Take a look at offensive tackle Charles Cross throughout his college career at Mississippi State. Cross was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the 1st round, No. 9 overall, in the 2022 NFL Draft.