Panthers 7-round 2022 NFL mock draft: Trench warfare edition

Dean Jones
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Chris Owens
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Chris Owens /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Charles Cross /

Bulldogs . CHARLES CROSS. 6. player. 893. . OT

Carolina Panthers select Charles Cross at No. 6

Another failed season for the Carolina Panthers lands them with a high-end draft pick once again. Trading down from No. 6 overall is a realistic option given this is the team’s only selection in the top-100 as it stands, but the temptation to take an elite offensive lineman cannot be ignored after what transpired during the previous campaign.

If the Panthers decide to hold firm and pick at No. 6, then Charles Cross might be the guy. Carolina has found life difficult replacing left tackle Jordan Gross since his retirement and until they figure out who can become their next great blindside protector, it’s going to come with further complications.

Cross could end up being the best tackle in this class when it’s all said and done. The former Mississippi State standout boasts explosiveness and power that blows away opposing defensive lineman, which is matched by nifty footwork, exceptional athleticism, and supreme length to further enhance his overall stock.

There appears little doubt Cross will be one of the first names called on draft night. Some analysts even have him going No. 1 overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars instead of Evan Neal.

This selection would be an instant problem-solver for the Panthers. Cross comes into the league as a Day 1 starter with Pro Bowl potential and if he stays free of injury, he could end up being the answer to Carolina’s prayers.