Las Vegas Raiders: Maxx Crosby welcoming Michael Mayer to the NFL is a great thing

The Las Vegas Raiders started practicing with pads on Tuesday, and Maxx Crosby welcomed Michael Mayer to the NFL.
Kansas City Chiefs v Las Vegas Raiders
Kansas City Chiefs v Las Vegas Raiders / Jeff Bottari/GettyImages

When it comes to the Las Vegas Raiders franchise, the man who stands above all others is edge rusher Maxx Crosby. The face of the franchise, Crosby came into the league as a fourth-round pick, and has since rounded into one of the elite edge rushers in all of football.

Crosby attacks the game the same way he attacks life, giving everything he has every single day. That was evident on Tuesday, as the Raiders got the pads on for the first time in practice, and he was all over the field.

Two instances stand out, as Crosby was chirping with new quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo during the workout period. Crosby also welcomed rookie tight end Michael Mayer to the NFL on multiple one-on-one matchups, throwing "Baby Gronk" to the floor time and time again.

To Mayer's credit, per Las Vegas Review-Journal's Vinny Bonsignore, Mayer got up every time, a testament to the kind of player he is going to be at the next level. Mayer is only going to become an elite player by going up against the likes of Crosby in practice every day, making whoever he matches up with on Sundays an easier task.

Big expectations for Raiders TE Michael Mayer in Year 1

On Tuesday, the depth chart at the tight end position got a bit shorter, as the Raiders released former first-round pick, OJ Howard. Mayer, Jesper Horsted, and Austin Hooper have looked very good so far this summer, and with other needs on the roster, Howard became the odd man out for the Silver and Black.

The truth is, after trading up to get him, Mayer has a legitimate opportunity to be the team's starting tight end as a rookie. Going into the 2023 NFL Draft, many, including myself, thought that Mayer was the No. 1 tight end in the draft class, and he is going to be able to show his slide was unwarranted in Year 1.

Mayer has the size, speed, blocking, and catching ability to make him a star in Josh McDaniels's offense, and I am sure the coaching staff has high expectations for him in Year 1. For now, he is going to have to get used to Crosby battling him every day in practice, and that is a great thing, as "Iron sharpens Iron."

3 starters who may not be the roster Week 1. 3 starters who may not be the roster Week 1. dark. Next