crosby raiders

Las Vegas Raiders DE Maxx Crosby: A Top 3 Defensive Disruptor

Maxx Crosby’s 2021 campaign continues to impress and has earned some notable accolades. Most recently, NFL media writer Nick Shook ranked the NFL’s top 10 disruptors using Next Gen Stats. No surprise here, but the Las Vegas Raiders’ standout made the cut.

Maxx Crosby’s stats don’t lie; the Las Vegas Raiders have a special talent on their hands.

Since 2019, one of the most consistent performers on the Raiders’ defense has undoubtedly been Crosby. In retrospect, he was a steal. The argument could be made that he was the best draft selection when Mike Mayock was at the helm of the Las Vegas front office. With 53 hurries under his belt, Crosby has already proven himself as one of the hardest-working pass rushers in the game.

“Crosby, chosen in the fourth round of the 2019 draft, has been a slam dunk selection. The Eastern Michigan product has 25 sacks through his first three seasons, and after failing to make this list last year, Crosby made sure he didn’t miss out again. He led the NFL in QB pressures, posting a pressure rate north of 15 percent while forcing three turnovers via pressure.”

As Shook points out, Crosby failed to crack this elite list last season, but he couldn’t be denied after posting such an impressive campaign in 2021. His turnovers caused by QB pressure totaled three. In addition, he accumulated a 15.7 QB pressure rate, per Next Gen Stats.

Will Crosby get double-digit sacks next season?

The one negative blip on Crosby’s totals from 2021 was his sack total. He amassed just eight, whereas Trey Hendrickson (ranked first) tallied 14. If Crosby is to take the next step up in the NFL’s pass-rushing echelon, he’ll need to finish more.

“The lone downside to Crosby’s statistical resume is his sack total. Crosby was excellent at putting heat on the QB, but he didn’t quite get home as much as others on this list. He’s still well worth the four-year contract extension he signed in March.”

As a side note, Yannick Ngakoue also made the cut here. Shook has the former Raiders star listed fifth. However, he wasn’t seen as a scheme fit, and quite frankly, Chandler Jones is more of an upgrade, and on top of that, he isn’t a burden in defending the run. Regardless, the future looks bright for Crosby, and with Jones on the other side, there’s no reason Crosby can’t pile up double digit sacks in 2022.

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

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