crosby raiders

Las Vegas Raiders DE Maxx Crosby An Early Candidate For DPOY

Thanks to Pro Football Focus, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby is already in preseason talk regarding the prestigious Defensive Player of the Year award.

In a recent article by PFF, Sam Monson listed his candidates for the defensive prize, with Crosby coming in at number six, below Joey Bosa. The rest of the rankings were T.J. Watt (1), Myles Garrett (2), Khalil Mack (3), and Micah Parsons (4).

Maxx Crosby: does the Raiders’ defensive end have a legitimate shot in 2022?

As Raiders fans know, Crosby had a remarkable 2021 campaign, so much so that the organization moved quickly to secure his services for the long run. However, there are questions about the validity of some of his numbers, at least according to PFF.

“Maxx Crosby had a true breakout 2021 season and led the NFL in pressures, becoming only the third player to post more than 100 in a season since 2006 (101). Crosby faced a very weak run of right tackles all season, but he still remained just as productive against better opposition. He now needs to show that wasn’t a flash in the pan.”

When critics often look at Crosby’s production, they like to point out that he faced “weaker” competition at right tackle. However, to simply dismiss NFL-caliber right tackles to justify another player’s productivity is lopsided, and many fans will point out the bias. Luckily for Crosby, he showed out and proved he could do just as well against “higher” levels of tackles. Crosby only had four games in 2021 where he didn’t hit the quarterback at least once. He also had a career-high in pass deflections with seven.

Alongside Chandler Jones, Crosby has an opportunity to build on his eight sacks from last year. The NFL is rich with pass rushers right now, and the upper plateau that PFF has singled out is monstrous. Crosby is going to have a tough road ahead if he’s looking to overtake Mack and the Bosa brothers, along with Parsons, who burst onto the scene as a rookie.

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*Top Photo: Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal

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