“I’m gonna make you an Oakland Raider”
On day three of the 2019 NFL Draft, with the 106th pick, the Oakland Raiders selected Maxx Crosby in the 4th round. Jon Gruden called Crosby to deliver the news. “I gotta get after Mahomes man, we gotta get after Philip Rivers man. This is a tough division, are you that guy #92 that’s raising hell?” You can hear Crosby’s family erupt in celebration on the other end. Gruden continued, “I’m gonna make you an Oakland Raider…we have a strong feeling that you’re one of the best sleepers in football”
Raiders General Manager Mike Mayock then took the phone and said, “I’ve been watching your tape all fall. I’ve been grabbing Gruden and yelling at him about Madd Maxx Crosby.” But it wasn’t all celebration, there was work ahead. Before hanging up the phone, Mayock told Crosby he needs to get stronger, “nothing will stop you once you get more powerful.”
Crosby was relieved, he worked so hard to get to this point. He was also shocked. “The Raiders never talked to me one time” he told the Raiders digital team in 2021, as he reflected on the pre-draft process.
In the final season of Oakland Raiders football, he had a monster rookie year, finishing 2nd for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, behind 49ers Nick Bosa. Crosby had 10 sacks that year ahead of Bosa’s 9 sacks. Both finished with 37 tackles. The award could’ve gone either way, as no one had a better rookie year in the entire league (on either side of the ball) than Crosby. Not bad for a guy who was drafted 104 picks after Bosa, who went 2nd overall to the team across the Bay.