The Las Vegas Raiders have a budding superstar in Maxx Crosby, who has become the vocal leader on the defensive side of the ball.
The Las Vegas Raiders have plenty of question marks on the defensive side of the ball, and the front office made sure to make that area a priority during the offseason. By adding talent during the 2021 NFL Draft, using five of their seven picks on the defense, as well as bringing in veterans in free agency, the hope is that there is enough talent there to finally turn this group into at least a mediocre unit.
Last season, the offense was one of the top-10 in the league, but the defense was bottom-3, and they struggled in most categories. With a new defensive coordinator in town, the Raiders are looking to get back to basics, and they certainly have leaders, like third-year edge rusher Maxx Crosby.
As Vinny Bonsignore tweeted out on Wednesday, Crosby has been vocal during the drills, specifically helping out the rookie, Malcolm Koonce. It seems like only yesterday that Crosby was the rookie running through deals, but he is ready to become the leader of this defense after two successful seasons.
Raiders must improve in the sack column in 2021
It is no big secret that the Raiders need to improve on all three levels of the defense in 2021, but the pass rush is very concerning. Gus Bradley is not someone who likes to blitz all the time, so guys like Crosby are going to have to find a way to get after the quarterback without designed blitzes.
For Crosby, he is outstanding at doing just that, and now that the team has added Yannick Ngakoue to the fold, he should be able to make plays without having to be double-teamed all the time. Gruden stated yesterday that both Clelin Ferrell and Carl Nassib will have to fight to get snaps, so it will definitely be the Crosby-Ngakoue show coming off the edge in Las Vegas this season.
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Crosby has been a special find for the Raiders, and is still very young, and has not even reached the prime of his career. He is a player this franchise can build around on the defensive side of the ball, and now that he sees himself as a leader, the sky is the limit for No. 98.