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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

State to Sunday 2022: Bulldogs gearing up for NFL Draft

File Photo | The Reflector

Charles Cross is predicted to be a high first round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft

The 2022 college football season is slowly approaching, but before Mississippi State University hits the gridiron this fall, there are a number of Bulldogs looking to play on Sunday in 2022.

As the NFL draft approaches, let’s take a look at which Bulldogs will be waiting for their name to be called and which players you should be on the lookout for this season. 

Leading the MSU 2022 draft class is one of the best offensive tackles in the country, Charles Cross. Many have Cross projected to be picked within the top five picks of this year’s NFL draft. 

Cross had an outstanding season in 2021 and turned many heads across the country with his pass-blocking abilities. During the 2021 season for MSU, Cross played a total of 919 snaps and only allowed two sacks. 

Cross is arguably the best pass-blocking tackle in this year’s NFL draft class. At 6’5″ and 310 pounds, Cross ran a 4.95 in the NFL combine. With outstanding quickness off the ball and elite pass-blocking abilities, any team with a top 10 pick in the first round will be looking to snag Cross. 

“I don’t care who it’s going to be, you don’t have a chance if you can’t protect the quarterback. Charles Cross, watching his pass protection every week at Mississippi State, really impressed. Charles Cross in pass protection is basically flawless this entire year for Mississippi State,” said ESPN and NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper.  

Kiper also stated that Cross is “exactly what Carolina needs.” The Carolina Panthers currently hold the sixth overall pick in the NFL Draft this year.

Next up for the Bulldogs is wide receiver, Makai Polk. During the 2021 season for MSU, Makai Polk recorded 105 receptions for 1,046 yards and nine touchdowns. Polk has the chance to make some waves as he is a true deep threat for any team as he can play in the slot or on the outside. 

“I know I’m the best wide receiver in this draft,” Polk stated earlier this year before the NFL combine. Polk is one of the few receivers in SEC history to catch 100 passes on the season. NFL teams will be looking for that sure-handedness in the late rounds, where Polk is projected to fall to. 

On the defensive side for the Bulldogs, standout cornerback Martin Emerson has turned some heads and is looking to make a statement in the 2022 NFL Draft. 

Emerson is an athletic corner with the ability to make some big-time hits. During the 2021 season, Emerson recorded 72 tackles and was named second team all-SEC. 

With such size and athletic ability, there is a possibility that Emerson could switch from corner to safety, which is the position he was originally recruited for. 

There will be many eyes tuned in during the first round, as we will all find out where Charles Cross will land. As a projected top 10 pick, it will be interesting to see which team will pick up Cross, as well as all the other MSU Bulldogs who will be waiting to hear their names called. 

The first round of the NFL draft will take place on Thursday, April 28th, at 7 p.m. central time, followed by the second and third rounds on Friday, April 29th, at 6 p.m. and the final rounds will take place on Sunday, April 30th, at noon.

About the Contributor
Dylan Flippo
Dylan Flippo, Former Sports Editor
Dylan Flippo served as the Sports Editor from 2022 to 2023.
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State to Sunday 2022: Bulldogs gearing up for NFL Draft