A finance student from Maryland who has aspirations of owning his own financial firm, Maryland security Nick Cross is set to make some money in 2022 nfl draft. While this safety class possesses some impressive talent at the top, Cross’s scouting report reveals a player who can make an impact not only in this group but on a Sunday afternoon as well.
Nick Cross NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Security
- College: Maryland
- current year: Junior
- Height: 6’1″
- Weight: 215 pounds
Nick Cross scouting report
If you’re an NFL team that needs help at safety, you’re in luck. The upcoming draft is strong at the top, with kyle hamilton potentially the best player in the entire class. Plus, there’s talent all over the field. Despite the depth of talent, Maryland safety Cross has drawn quite a stir in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Before the Pinstripe Bowl, Pro Football Network’s chief NFL draft analyst Tony Pauline alluded to the NFL’s interest in Cross, saying he had “top 100 ratings from scouts.” Also, Pauline currently lists the Maryland prospect as its 64th-ranked prospect and its 4th-ranked safety. That’s high praise, but does your scouting report live up to the hype?
At 6’1″, 215 pounds, Cross is a decent size for the safety position at the next level. More importantly, the Maryland security possesses excellent length for the position. He has long, muscular arms that will allow him to be an NFL-level playmaker.
Size, speed, physicality
There are multiple examples from his Maryland career of Cross using his size and length profile to make plays on the ball. His production is a testament to his ability to create plays, but the way he makes these plays is impressive. The Maryland safety can move his long limbs to break up passes, and he has quickly timed at the capture point in the end zone to make touchdown-saving plays.
Cross is a former track star, both in high school and at Maryland, and this is evident from his scouting report. One of the most impressive elements of her gameplay is her explosive speed. She can shut down in a heartbeat, appearing on the scene out of nowhere to make a move. Her click-and-close ability brings exciting coverage potential to the next level. That same speed allows him to play from a single high lineup with impressive range.
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In addition to his speed, Cross uses impressive physicality to be a threat in three phases of defense. We’ve discussed his coverage ability, but he’s also been used to impact the passing game as a pass-rusher, bursting into the backfield with ferocity.
That same physicality is evident against the running game. Cross reads the running game well and is a confident outfield tackler who rarely misses on his first contact.
Areas to improve
Maryland safety Cross is a speed/size threat who will add physicality to an NFL defensive backfield. Additionally, he possesses excellent special teams experience, which will help him see the field early at the next level. That said, some areas of his scouting report require improvement to raise his NFL Draft stock.
As a result of his athletic profile, Cross was primarily used as a high-level safety for Maryland. In the games observed, he was rarely used in any other lineup except for a handful of replays in the box. As such, he has yet to display the kind of versatility that would elevate a player’s stock in the NFL Draft.
While a confident outfield tackler, Cross has a propensity to use a high volume of ankle tackles. While that didn’t result in a significant loss of yards at the college level, he’ll need to make sure he ends up in the NFL.
Cross Player Profile
TO four star perspective A graduate of DeMatha Catholic High School, Cross was a highly sought-after recruit in the class of 2019. Regarded as the fourth-best safety in the nation, he was also the highest-ranked player in the state of Maryland. As a result, he attracted almost 40 offers. However, he entered his senior season without committing to his college future.
That soon changed with his September commitment to Florida State. Meanwhile, the rejected teams could only watch as Cross compiled a sensational senior season. Praised for his high character and impressive speed on the floor, DeMatha’s attacking midfielder had 94 tackles and showcased his great talent with 4 interceptions.
Despite his commitment to the Seminoles, Cross remained unsigned until 2019. He appeared in the Army All-American Game, securing an 84-yard interception before pulling off an upset by trading his commitment to Maryland. New Maryland head coach Mike Locksley had recruited the shocking safety while he was at Alabama. Also, the Maryland campus was within walking distance of his high school.
“It’s bigger than football,” Cross told reporters at the time of their engagement. “The opportunities outside of the game, and Locksley and the juice that he brought to the program was great.”
The Cross Country Race in Maryland
With the departure of Darnell Savage Jr. to the Green Bay Packers in the 2019 NFL Draft, Cross had the opportunity to make an immediate impact on Maryland’s security. There was some poetry about the transition, as Cross earned early comparisons to former Green Bay safety Adrian Amos.
In his freshman season, Cross made 11 appearances with five starts. Although his first start didn’t come until mid-October, the young safety from Maryland had already made his presence felt. In just his third appearance, he knocked out Sean Clifford in a loss to Penn State. A second interception came against Nebraska. In addition, he showed a penchant for the big game with a career-high 9 tackles against Ohio State.
Cross finished his first season with 45 tackles, 1 tackle for loss and a team-leading 5 pass breakups and 2 interceptions. The Maryland safety won an All-big ten honorable mention, an accolade he would earn every season of his career. While he impressed on the soccer field, he also competed in the 60 and 200 meters for the Maryland track and field team.
The interruption of the 2020 season meant that Cross only saw action in four games. However, he started three of them in his second season. He opened the season in style by matching his career-high 9 tackles against Northwestern. The Maryland safety terrified Penn State for the second straight season, with an interception and the first forced fumble of his career. He finished the season with 23 tackles, 3 pass breakups and 1 interception.
Cross’s rise in the NFL Draft
2021 was a great season for Cross. In the season opener against West Virginia, he had 6 tackles and an interception. Two weeks later, he got another pick, this time against Illinois. The Maryland safety set a new career high with 13 tackles against Minnesota. Another interception came against Michigan State. Meanwhile, he finished his season in style with a forced fumble that led to a touchdown at the Pinstripe Bowl.
Cross led Maryland with 3 interceptions and 2 forced fumbles in his junior season. He also had 66 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks and 4 interrupted passes. After another productive season, he opted to declare for the 2022 NFL Draft, hoping to replicate the selection of fellow Maryland safety Savage and Antoine Brooks Jr.
“Basically, I thought going into the draft was the best decision for me right now,” Cross told the media. “After many conversations with my parents, coaches and with God, I thought it was the best way to achieve my goals and dreams of playing in the NFL.”
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Nick Cross, Maryland S | NFL draft scouting report