Raiders minicamp: 2 defensive stars dominating early

If you were worried about the Christian Wilkins, signing, don't be.
Las Vegas Raiders OTA Offseason Workout
Las Vegas Raiders OTA Offseason Workout / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

Tuesday marked the start of the Las Vegas Raiders' mandatory minicamp. Early reports are indicating that the defense looks awesome with two highly paid stars setting the tone.

It should come as no surprise that Christian Wilkins and Maxx Crosby were the two players who dominated the first day, according to The Athletic's Vic Tafur. The defensive linemen's exceptional performance and strong work ethic were widely discussed during OTAs and have continued into minicamp. During practice, it was observed multiple times that after Crosby impacted one play, Wilkins would do the same, impacting the next.

Keep in mind that these two players are doing this against an offensive line that has some talent of their own, and this is exactly what the Raiders hoped to see when signing Wilkins as a free agent earlier this offseason. It may only be June, but you love hearing this type of play from two of your stars, no matter what time of year. Crosby had some initial thoughts on what he's seeing from Wilkins.

“Christian works his ass off, and I haven’t had a guy like that since Yannick (Ngakoue)," Crosby said during his Tuesday press conference. "Yannick was constantly trying to compete with me and go at it, and we were competing at everything. Christian kind of reminds me of him in that way. It’s been a hell of a start so far. We have a lot of work to do, but we both love football and that’s all that matters.” 

The work ethic of both of these players is something we have heard talked about frequently this offseason and head coach Antonio Pierce can barely keep up with them.

“There are two gentlemen that are in this building every day before coaches: Maxx Crosby, Christian Wilkins,” Pierce said during the Raiders' recent media day.

Pairing a talent like Wilkins in the middle of the defensive line with Crosby on the edge brings a whole new dynamic. If this type of play carries over to the season, it can take this already strong defense to a whole new level.