The Las Vegas Raiders got a steal when they selected Maxx Crosby in the fourth round of last year’s NFL Draft. Although they surely expected more from Clelin Ferrell, it was Crosby that played better. However, the Eastern Michigan product has work to do if he wants to become an elite defensive end.
The Raiders got a playmaker on Maxx Crosby
Crosby was a sleeper coming out of college. Although he needed to bulk up, he showed signs of playmaking prowess back in Eastern Michigan. Even though it took him a while to get acclimatized to the NFL, he showed he could be a competent starter. In fact, he showed so much progression in his rookie season that he was a runner-up for the Defensive Rookie of the Year award. All in all, he finished the year with 10 sacks, 29 hurries, five hits, four forced fumbles and three passes defensed. That kind of production was great coming from the 2019 106th overall pick.
Crosby ended the season with numbers similar to the ones the eventual DROY, Nick Bosa, produced. Nevertheless, a close look shows Crosby still has ways to go before he joins the NFL defensive end’s top echelon. Despite the fact Crosby had accounted for almost 33 percent of the Raiders 32 takedowns last season, Pro Football Focus graded him as the 60th best defensive end in 2019.
Max Crosby needs to increase his pressure rate
Sack are not the only metric that analyst take into account when grading a defensive player’s performance. They consider how often they can disrupt pass and running plays. Even if a defender can’t take a quarterback down but he forces him to throw a bad place, he’s doing his job well. When it comes to pressuring the quarterback, Crosby’s rate ranked 95th in the league. Pro Football Focus also gave him 65.5 grade, good for No. 60. Meanwhile, Bosa ranked third on PFFs list with a 89.8 grade and 35 more total pressures than Crosby’s 45.
Crosby wasn’t a slouch and he can definitely perform better, it’s just that he isn’t a premiere defensive end yet. Having said that, he will likely show improvement this upcoming season. The Raiders added defensive tackle Maliek Collins, who should take blocks off his teammates. Furthermore, Rod Marinelli, who has a reputation for maxing out defensive lines, joined the Silver and Black’s coaching staff in the offseason.
Crosby is in the early stage of his football career. Even if he isn’t the best at his position, he has the tools to get considerably better.
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