With only 98 days until the opening game of 2020, we start the count down with the best Raiders player at every jersey number. Today we focus on No. 98.
There have been plenty of legendary players to put on the Raiders uniform, ranging from Hall of Famers, to guys who have been inexplicably left out of Canton. Through the team’s sixty years of existence, thousands of players have come and gone, each leaving a mark on the organization, no matter how small.
With the season a few months away, we take a look at the best player to wear the jersey number of the number of days left before the opener on September 13, 2020 against Carolina. That game will kick off the new era of Raiders
We continue our series with No. 98.
Maxx Crosby (2019-present)
In the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, the then-Oakland Raiders selected edge rusher Maxx Crosby, their second defensive end taken last April. Coming from Eastern Michigan, the pick was a bit of a shocker, but in his first season in the NFL, Crosby not only proved he belonged, but that he will be a cornerstone player for the franchise for years to come.
Crosby did not become a full-time starter for the Raiders until Week 9, when the team beat the Detroit Lions in front of a rowdy Coliseum crowd. Two weeks later, against the Cincinnati Bengals, Crosby racked up four sacks, terrorizing Ryan Finley all game long, and becoming a fan favorite along the way.
The young edge rusher finished up his rookie season with ten sacks, and when you look at the numbers, he was actually more productive than San Francisco edge rusher Nick Bosa, who went No. 2 overall and won the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year. Crosby had ten sacks to Bosa’s nine, three more forced fumbles, and the two had the same amount of tackles (47).
Bosa came away with the award most likely because he was such a high pick, and the 49ers had a much better season as a team. However, that is going to serve as fuel for Crosby, who epitomizes what it is to be a Raider, and will be one of the team’s stars heading into Las Vegas.
Sure, Crosby has only been with the team for one season, but if you look at the rest of the Raiders to wear No. 98 in the team’s history, he is by far the best player. After double-digit sacks in his rookie season, and with the team bringing in more talent around him, there is no reason why Crosby can’t crack the ten-sack barrier against in 2020.