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With the 96th pick in the NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts select Nick Cross, S, Maryland

 

The Colts moved back into the 3rd round for their guy, trading one of their 5th round picks and a 2023 3rd for the Broncos 96th pick

 

Meet Nick Cross

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Background:

Nick Cross attended DeMatha Catholic High School, where he was a dual-sport athlete in football and a track star, something he continued in during his college career. Coming out of high school, Cross was viewed as one of the best safeties in the nation and was rated a four-star prospect. Many colleges offered Cross scholarships, with Cross electing to stay close to home. Cross lit up the college scene, earning All-Big Ten honorable mentions every season of his college career. Cross would appear in 11 games as a freshman, notching interceptions in Penn State, Nebraska, and putting up nine tackles against Ohio State. Nick Cross’s sophomore season was short due to the pandemic; however, he still managed to shine brightly in four games with strong performances against Penn State and Northwestern. In his 2021 season, Cross exploded onto the scene, snagging six tackles and a pick against West Virginia, notching a career-high 13 tackles against Minnesota, and a forced fumble in the Pinstripe Bowl.

Play Style:

Nick Cross is a near-perfect fit in Gus Bradley’s scheme; a predominantly MOFC (Middle of Field Closed) style defense, Nick Cross played extensively as a single high coverage safety at Maryland. Cross has a blazing 4.34 40-yard time and measures at 6’1″ and 212 lbs giving him the ability to be both a hard-hitting run stuffer and a rangy sideline to sideline defender. Whichever SAF position Bradley wants to use Cross, he has the physical tools necessary to get the job done. Nick Cross will likely start primarily in special teams roles where his speed and tackling ability will make him a nightmare for returners, and I believe he could step in and start right away. Blackmon and Willis have struggled with injuries, McLeod is on a one-year deal, and Watts is a career special teams player. Cross has a chance to carve out an early role in 3 SAF sets and a potential starting job in 2023. This player’s sky is the limit, and I fully believe that. Cross has the athleticism, instincts, and character that tells me with this coaching staff and surrounding locker room, this young and dynamic player will be able to reach his untapped potential. This is an excellent, excellent pick for the Indianapolis Colts and, in my opinion, the best value pick in all of day two.

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