Raiders: Maxx Crosby’s career day shows signs of future stardom

Raiders (Photo by Robert Reiners/Getty Images)
Raiders (Photo by Robert Reiners/Getty Images) /
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Oakland Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby has proven many of his doubters wrong and showed signs of future stardom in his four-sack performance this past week.

The Oakland Raiders 2019 rookie class has exceeded any and all expectations this season. And while early-round picks such as Josh Jacobs have received a lot of the well-deserved attention, it’s been the mid-to-late-round picks that have truly made the difference.

And on Sunday, fourth-round pick Maxx Crosby proved just that.

The Eastern Michigan product dominated the Cincinnati Bengals like few Raiders defensive players have done tallying four sacks in what was a true breakout performance for the young rookie.

Crosby terrorized a poor Bengals offensive line en route to the best performance of his young career. Sure, his sacks came against the likes of Bobby Hart and John Jerry — not exactly high-caliber linemen.

But four-sack games don’t just happen by accident. It takes a special player to be able to accomplish such a feat. And Crosby may be more special than anyone had previously realized.

The 22-year-old was considered a project player heading into the 2019 NFL Draft with few expecting him to make an impact early in his NFL career. Scouting reports indicated that he had to get stronger and develop his pass rush moves more before he could be a viable NFL starter.

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But through 11 weeks, it’s very apparent that those reports grossly underestimated his abilities — or at least his maturation skills.

Crosby has shown that he’s more than just an unrefined athlete at his position. The fourth-round pick is a bonafide pass-rushing stud with the traits and moves of a future All-Pro at defensive end.

And despite being selected over 100 picks later in this past year’s draft, Crosby is right on pace with No. 2 overall pick Nick Bosa and No. 4 overall pick Josh Allen with 6.5 sacks. That’s just one-and-a-half shy of Allen’s 8.0 and a half-sack below Bosa’s 7.0

The Raiders expected Crosby to be a situational pass rusher contributing only in spurts this season. Even the most optimistic of Raiders fans couldn’t have expected this level of production.

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And now the question remains, if Crosby was able to grow and mature this quickly, how much more will he develop? And how quickly might we see that development?

Crosby is already two or three steps ahead of where the organization thought he would be at this point in the season. He’s developed legitimate pass rush moves, shows strength at the point of attack, and he’s never been lacking in athleticism.

Given how quickly he’s transitioned to the NFL and how rapidly he’s been able to improve upon his weaknesses, the writing could be on the wall for even more success down the line.

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The sky appears to be the limit for the talented Maxx Crosby, and Raiders fans will be hoping that his four-sack performance was just a sign of things to come.