CBS Sports just put out their rankings of the top 10 edge defenders in the league. Where did the Las Vegas Raiders’ defensive end, Maxx Crosby, end up? Did they get it right? Let’s take a look at this most recent list.
Las Vegas Raiders DE Maxx Crosby Cracks the Top 5
“Mad Maxx” is starting to get the recognition that he has earned after three remarkable seasons in the NFL. He came in at number four on this list, just above Vonn Miller and right behind Nick Bosa. Here is what CBS Sports’ Jeff Kerr had to say about his rankings, particularly on Crosby.
“There was only one player in the NFL with more than 80 pressures last season–and that honor belonged to Crosby. He led the NFL with 92 pressures in 2021, 15 more than Aaron Donald (who finished with 77). Crosby didn’t have the sack totals (eight) to back up his pressure rate, but he did finish fourth in quarterback hits (30) and was third among edge defenders in run stops (41).”
Crosby’s sack numbers are often pointed to as a blemish on his stat line. As Kerr points out, Crosby has no problem generating pressure, but he needs to finish more. Luckily for No. 98, he got some help this offseason, so perhaps Raiders fans will witness Crosby accumulating double-digit sacks in 2022.
“Crosby earned Second-Team All-Pro honors as a result of his breakout season, emerging as one of the top edge rushers in the game. With Chandler Jones lined up opposite Crosby, the stage is set for him to have an even bigger year in 2022.”
CBS Sports Got it Right
I cannot argue too much with this ranking. It is difficult to make a case for Crosby over any of the top three: Nick Bosa, Myles Garrett, and T.J. Watt. They made the right call with Crosby being ranked above guys like Vonn Miller and Cameron Jordan. Crosby is more well-rounded than both of them at this point in their careers.
Personally speaking, CBS Sports did a great job of acknowledging that Crosby has outplayed his sack numbers. They mentioned how he affects the game in other ways with his pressures, quarterback hits, and run stops. If he can just become a consistent double-digit sack player, Crosby will have a strong case for being the league’s best edge defender.
*Top Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images