Maxx Crosby – DE
Another rookie who made a significant impression with the Raiders in 2019 was Maxx Crosby. The fourth-round pick came from relative obscurity to become a dominant pass-rusher in no time at all and he could represent a real problem for the Carolina Panthers in their Week 1 matchup.
Crosby has boundless strength and energy that came across on almost every down last season. This high motor enabled the defensive end to record ten sacks, four forced fumbles, 47 combined tackles, 36 solo tackles, 16 tackles for loss, 14 quarterback hits, and four pass deflections. Not bad for a fourth-round pick who was seen as a development project at the next level.
The former Eastern Michigan standout won’t be a surprise package during his sophomore campaign, so whether he can reach or even surpass this level of production again remains to be seen. He is set to come up against veteran Pro Bowler Russell Okung and Taylor Moton, who is widely regarded as one of the NFL’s brightest young protectors.
Both will need to be at the top of their game to prevent Crosby from making a difference. There are some serious concerns surrounding Carolina’s interior protection that need to be alleviated and if the second-year-pro can generate enough pressure from the edge, it is going to represent a considerable problem for the Panthers and their new quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.