4 Raiders who could improve the most in 2021
Maxx Crosby has led the Raiders in sacks every year since he got drafted in the fourth round by the Raiders in the 2019 NFL Draft. As a rookie, Crosby accumulated ten sacks, then dipped a bit with seven in this past season, which still sadly ended up leading Raiders’ defense.
He did all of that while battling a hurt shoulder all last season, and in 2021, he will benefit from some new faces around him. This offseason, the Raiders almost redid their entire defensive line by signing former Gus Bradley pass-rusher Yannick Ngakoue, former 49ers first-round pick Soloman Thomas, former Los Angeles Chargers defensive lineman Darius Philon, and also released Maurice Hurst and Arden Key.
The Raiders have fellow third-year defensive end Clelin Ferrell, who is excellent against the run and actually has improved his pressures despite missing multiple games in each season due to injury, starting with Ngakoue on the opposite side. Seeing fewer double teams should allow to Crosby flourish coming in not only fully healthy to start the season, but also mostly on passing downs.
I expect Crosby to once again either lead or be near the top of the Raiders sack leaders once again in 2021. Let’s just hope it’s much closer to 17 than seven this season.