When the Raiders franchise drafted Maxx Crosby in the fourth-round of the 2019 NFL Draft, nobody really knew what to expect from him. Coming out of Eastern Michigan, Crosby was not a big-time draft prospect at the time, and the team had spent a top-5 pick on the defensive end position group that same draft season.
While Clelin Ferrell never amounted to much in the Silver and Black, the same cannot be said for Crosby. From the start, Crosby proved that he played the game the right way, and with the kind of passion that reminded Raider Nation of Raiders of old.
Now, going into his sixth season in the league, Crosby has emerged as one of the best players in the game, and one of the best Raiders we have seen in a very long time. Crosby has become the face of the franchise, and is someone that the current regime is going to continue to build around.
Maxx Crosby has surpassed Khalil Mack as an all-time Raiders player
Crosby is the best home-grown talent at the position that the Raiders have had since Khalil Mack was dominating coming off the edge in the early-2010s. He is a menace for the Silver and Black, and someone that other teams have to gameplan against on a weekly basis.
Mack was enjoying a memorable Raiders career when he was traded away by Jon Gruden in the 2019 offseason, a move that came to the hatred of most of Raider Nation. Had he stayed in the Silver and Black, this would not even be a discussion, but after five seasons, it is Crosby who has become the best player we have seen put on a Raiders jersey since the early-2000s.
Crosby played well enough to be in line to win the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year this past season, an award that Mack won with the Raiders back in 2016. Since coming into the league, Crosby has 52 sacks, including a career-best 14.5 during the 2023 NFL season.
The edge rusher continues to improve on a weekly basis, and his ability to play hurt has put him in a category of his own in terms of the history of the franchise. Who knows what would have happened if Jon Gruden never traded away Mack, but with five seasons under his belt in the Silver and Black, Crosby has now surpassed him as an all-time Raider.
There is no doubt that Mack was an oustanding player for the Raiders, but Crosby is now in a realm of his own in terms of franchise history.