Raiders 2022 NFL draft: 3 surprising picks in the 3rd Round
Nick Cross, S, Maryland
The Raiders recently signed the ballhawk safety Duron Harmon, but that doesn’t mean they still can’t use a safety.
Maryland’s Nick Cross plays like a Raider: Tough, versatile, and will make you feel it if you run towards him. This a player that gives you a little of everything from anywhere in the secondary, and when your starting strong safety averages an opposing quarterback rating of over 111, there’s always a good thing.
Not only has the safety played every defensive back position, from corner to both safety spots, but he’s consistently shown he can do anything you ask of him. If you’re Patrick Graham, whose favorite thing is versatility, you strike gold if you get a chance to coach Cross.
Through his 27 starts at Maryland, the 6’1 defensive back has put up 5 interceptions, 10 pass breakups, 4 sacks, 5.5 tackles behind the line, and even managed to force 3 fumbles. Cross maintains a presence in the run game while adding a layer in passing downs Johnathan Abram simply does not.
In the end, from his playstyle to his fit with defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, this is truly a match made in heaven. Don’t be surprised if Las Vegas has Cross on their draft board already.