It’s the time of year for bold NFL predictions and former Cy Young winner C.C. Sabathia just dropped a pretty big one for Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby. Sabathia is a Northern California boy and grew up a Raiders fan. Now that the team is showing some promise, the former pitcher for the New York Yankees is getting hyped for their potential, especially Crosby’s.
“I got him going 14.5 sacks,” Sabathia predicted for Crosby on Good Morning Football. “It’s right there with T.J. Watt – we sliding right in. I feel like he could be that type of player. I’m excited for him. You know what’s crazy? I can actually buy Raiders jerseys now. Like, I’m going to order me a Maxx Crosby jersey.”
14.5 sacks would be the most for a Raider since Khalil Mack put up 15 in 2015. While that’s certainly a big number, it’s actually not that big of a jump. Mack went from four sacks in his rookie year to 15 in year two. Based on how much better Crosby got as the season went on, there’s no reason not to believe that he’s about to blow up even more in 2020.
Foster Moreau Calls out Rookie Rankings
Despite the fact that the Raiders’ 2019 rookie class led the NFL in almost every statistical category, not everybody believes it was the best rookie group this past season. NFL.com recently put together rookie class ranking from 2019 and had the Raiders ranked all the way down at number seven. Here’s what they had to say:
“Ferrell showed promise as a rookie, recording 4.5 sacks, but he needs to be more consistent in rushing the passer. Analysis on Abram is incomplete, as he played only one game due to a shoulder injury. Jacobs, however, was an excellent addition, breaking 1,100 yards as a rookie and providing the Raiders with a much-needed bellcow in the backfield. Mullen was a solid corner as a rookie, excelling in run support while also recording one interception. Crosby was even better, recording 10 sacks opposite Ferrell. Moreau served as a complementary but scarcely targeted option opposite breakout tight end Darren Waller. Renfrow made the transition by doing what he did at Clemson: maximizing his talents. The receiver ran sharp routes and found soft spots in the defense on his way to breaking 600 yards receiving and catching four touchdowns as a rookie. Johnson didn’t see action until later in the season, primarily playing special teams. Bell ended up on Tampa Bay’s practice squad. Considering how much help the young Raiders received from a number of picks in this class, they earn the division’s best grade, even without the contributions of Abram.”
Being ranked seven out of 32 isn’t necessarily a huge insult, but the Raiders had huge contributions from their rookie class all season. They could’ve easily been number one and tight end Foster Moreau wasn’t a big fan of the list.
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2019 Draft Class Should Look Even Better Over Time
The main thing that held back the Raiders’ 2019 draft class was injury. Johnathan Abram only got to play in one game before hitting injured reserve. Outside of him, Clelin Ferrell, Josh Jacobs, Foster Moreau, Isaiah Johnson and Hunter Renfrow all missed time thanks to injury. Imagine how good this group would’ve been had they all stayed healthy.
This group of players is only scratching the service and they should continue to all be big contributors to the team in 2020 and beyond. Abram was one of the players the team was most excited about and he hardly played. He could become a star and Jacobs is already one. Ferrell still has a lot of potential and should improve this offseason. The future is bright in Las Vegas and the Raiders have to be really excited about it.