With the No. 14 pick in the 2022 SB Nation Mock Community Draft, Baltimore Beatdown selects offensive tackle Charles Cross, Mississippi State.
At No. 14, the options fell between Cross, inside defensive lineman Devonte Wyatt and Jordan Davis. Many were hoping to land defensive end Travon Walker, but the Houston Texans caught the rusher at No. 13.
Take offensive tackle at No. 14 – after Ravens sign offensive tackle Morgan Moses and Ju’Waun James spoken with Ronnie Stanley on the list rings false. However, the Ravens have spread careful optimism about Stanley’s status after his second season-ending ankle surgery that didn’t heal or rehabilitate properly in 2021. Let’s break that down into two scenarios.
Worst case: the cross immediately becomes a starting tackle
If Stanley struggles or there is a setback, the Ravens will immediately have several contingency plans at their disposal. The trio of Cross, James and Moses combine for two starters, with Cross occupying the left or right side. He could even replace left guard, pairing up with either James or Moses to have a massive size pairing between the two. That’s working in the Ravens’ favor over last year, which saw an offside Alejandro Villanueva struggle for 16 games against TJ Watt and Myles Garrett.
Best case: Stanley back, cross on left guard
“But Kyle, you’re burning the No. 14 overall pick on a left guard.”
No, you’re spending it on a hopeful franchise tackle. The Ravens had the best pair of tackles in the NFL three seasons ago with Stanley and Orlando Brown Jr., and it was a key part of their 14-2 season and Jackson’s League MVP. But after Brown forced himself out of Baltimore, the Ravens had to rebuild their offensive line.
Cross would start the NFL job at guard, where the transition to the pro league is less difficult. Then he struggles to find the right tackle.
Jackson’s health is relevant and a top blocker helps improve both the running game and the passing attack. Jackson will have more time in the pocket and the running game can gain more yards. It’s not the pretty choice, but it will make Jackson and the offense happy.