Maxx Crosby Might’ve Been the Steal of the Draft

Maxx Crosby was a fourth-round draft pick out of Eastern Michigan. According to Pro Football Reference, the highest-graded player out of Eastern Michigan up this point was T.J. Lang with a career rating of 62. In the 2019 NFL draft, Crosby wasn’t on many people’s draft boards. Especially, not as high as the fourth round. But, one coach did. That coach was Jon Gruden, the current head coach of the Oakland Raiders, soon to be Las Vegas Raiders.

Maxx Crosby Exceeds Draft Expectations

Crosby was drafted in the fourth round to become a rotational player for the Raiders. Not to become some Khalil Mack replacement. He was only drafted in the fourth round after all. In 12 games Crosby has seven and a half sacks, three forced fumbles, 35 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, and 12 quarterback hits. He also had 12 hurries and four knockdowns. If the season ended today, Crosby would probably be top five in defensive Rookie of the Year voting. As these stats are very similar to those of rookie pass rushers Josh Allen and Nick Bosa, who both post less than ten sacks, 12 tackles for loss for Bosa, and 14 for Allen. It’s not just these two stats, it’s many others. If you have free time, I encourage comparing the three.

What Does the Future Hold for the Draft Steal?

Maxx Crosby has only started six games this season and hasn’t consistently been on the field. After week four he has been on the field for over 50% of every defensive snap. In the last two weeks, he had played 90% of defensive snaps. He had gotten injured in the pre-season, but hopefully, the injury woes won’t follow him for the rest of his career. In one game against the Bengals, Crosby had only played 78% of the snaps, yet racked up four sacks, four quarterback hits, three tackles for loss, 5 tackles, and a forced fumble. With more playing time, Crosby has proved to be consistently getting to the quarterback and might be the hidden gem in the 2019 draft class. When we look back at the 2019 NFL draft, will Crosby be the best pass rusher in that class? I think he’s got a good shot.

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Top Photo: Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

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Author: Peter McMaster

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