Defensive end Maxx Crosby was a steal for the then-Oakland Raiders in the 2019 NFL Draft, and he is flourishing on and off the field.
When the then-Oakland Raiders drafted Maxx Crosby in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft, not much was made of it. A lesser-known prospect from Eastern Michigan, Crosby was actually the second edge rusher drafted by the Raiders, this after taking Clelin Ferrell with the No. 4 overall pick.
Since the two joined the organization, their production and their following have gone in different directions. While Ferrell has been solid, playing inside and out for the Silver and Black, Crosby has not only blossomed into a star on the field but one of the fan favorites of Raider Nation, something I do not think any of us saw coming.
Recently, ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez put together a tremendous piece on Crosby’s journey to sobriety, as he marked 18 months of being alcohol-free. Crosby told Gutierrez he had a history of alcoholism in his family and was an alcoholic himself, so in March of 2020, he entered a rehab facility and has been clean ever since.
These are the kind of stories that may not be national news or get the kind of coverage that a three-sack performance would get, but for Crosby, it is the most important news. Sure, we love to see No. 98 dominate on the field, but all of Raider Nation would rather he live a productive, and healthy life long after he retires.
Congratulations to Madd Maxx, and we hope for his continued success in life on and off the field.
Raiders could have an elite pass rush duo in 2021 and beyond
Turning our attention to the field, Crosby and newly acquired Yannick Ngakoue have the talent to be one of the best pass-rushing duos in the NFL this season, and they will get an early test in Week 1, taking on the athletic Lamar Jackson. Jackson is a playmaker who can dominate with his arm, and his legs, so keeping him contained is going to be priority No. 1 for Gus Bradley and this Raiders defense.
After racking up 21 sacks as a team in 2020, I believe this duo could eclipse that number as a tandem in 2021.
Last season, the Las Vegas Raiders managed to get to the quarterback only 21 times, a number one duo could reach by themselves in 2021.
Overall, Crosby has been a breath of fresh air for the Raiders, and much like Darren Waller has turned his life around since putting on a Raiders uniform. Both men are cornerstones for the organization, and young stars in the league, and what they are accomplishing off the field is even more important than what they do between the lines.