Nick Cross, S
School: Maryland | Conference: Big Ten
College Experience: Junior | Age: ?
Height / Weight: 6’1” / 215 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 2nd – 3rd round
Player Comparison: Adrian Amos
Dematha product Nick Cross was a standout high school player and track athlete. Cross was ranked the fourth-best high school safety in the nation and the best high school player in Maryland. He received 40 offers and, after initially committing to Florida State, he flipped his commitment to Maryland. With Darnell Savage leaving the Terps for the NFL, Cross saw the field early, quickly becoming a starter. His strong play earned him All-Big Ten honorable mention each of his years at Maryland.
- Excellent size and speed for the position
- Has the range to play single high safety
- Makes plays in run game from deep position
- Excels in zone, but displays man coverage skills
- Hard hitter
- Solid tackler, but needs to wrap up consistently
- Can be a little late reading and reacting to plays
- Could improve angles taken in pursuit of ball carriers
Let’s see his work
SAF Nick Cross - Maryland— Kendall Mirsky (@MirskyKendall) April 8, 2022
Cross tested very well at the combine and it shows on tape. But it also helps when you’re quick to read routes like he is on this play
Notice how fast he gets to the catch point and how patient he is as he waits to play the ballpic.twitter.com/0Bj79PWwMl
Nick Cross is a FS prospect in the 2022 draft class. He scored a 9.87 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 12 out of 846 FS from 1987 to 2022. https://t.co/WrB6AwiICy #RAS pic.twitter.com/xarJyIlK54— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 8, 2022
How He Fits On The Team
Nick Cross impresses as a safety. His speed and athleticism make him an ideal candidate to patrol the backend of the Commanders defense. He’s also more than that; he’ll come up and play in run support, drop down to the slot, and cover tight ends and slot receivers, and he’ll make plays on the perimeter. He was late reading and reacting to some plays, but his blazing speed makes up for some of that. It is an area he’ll have to improve on or offenses will take advantage of it at the next level.
Washington has not had a true free safety for a long time. While it looks like they have their starters in Bobby McCain and Kam Curl, neither is a true free safety capable of handling single high safety duties regularly. Cross could come in and do that, freeing McCain to play more in the slot or Curl to play more around the line of scrimmage. Cross has the skillset to do play more around the line of scrimmage, allowing the team to disguise which safeties have which responsibilities on a given play. Washington hosted Cross and other players at their local pro day. Might they reunite him with is high school teammate Chase Young?