The 2019 draft class for the Raiders was widely praised as they were able to find several instant contributors to the team. Because the team had so many draft picks turn out to be good players, it’s easy to forget about the draftees who struggled. Perhaps the player who struggled the most was the first player the Raiders took. It was questioned by many when the team decided to take Clelin Ferrell with the fourth overall pick. He didn’t do much to silence the doubters as he only produced 4.5 sacks in 15 games.
Ferrell was outshined by fourth-round pick Maxx Crosby, who notched 10 sacks on the season. Even though Crosby has more excitement surrounding him, Ferrell and he have a strong friendship. Crosby believes that Ferrell and he are doing the best they can to tune out the negativity.
“I can’t speak for Cle’ and he can’t speak for me but, obviously, we hear the sh*t,” Crosby said, per Tashan Reed of The Athletic. “They’re gonna say what they want to say, but, at the end of the day, all that matters is the work we put in and the film we put out there. I just care about playing at the highest of my ability and I know that’s all Cle’ cares about. Being compared and all that stuff, it’s not surprising. It is what it is.
“People can say what they want, but we’re going to take care of business regardless.”
Ferrell isn’t the first top-10 draft pick to have a disappointing rookie season. He’s got more than enough time to develop into the player the Raiders thought he was when he was drafted.
Crosby Wanted to Play for the Cowboys
It didn’t take Crosby long to become a fan-favorite for the Raiders. One of his first impressions with the team was breaking his wrist and playing through the injury. Once he emerged as the team’s most productive pass rusher, he immediately became one of the most beloved players on the team. However, if he had it his way, he would’ve been drafted by the Dallas Cowboys.
“I’m from Dallas so I was like, ‘Mom, Dad, Dallas loves me; this is gonna be perfect,’” Crosby said. “Obviously, I didn’t get drafted there. And I was kind of pissed off but, at the same time, I think everything happens for a reason.”
In hindsight, it’s hard for Crosby to complain. The Cowboys have a pretty deep defensive line. He wouldn’t have had the same opportunity to play as much in Dallas. The Raiders are definitely happy Jerry Jones didn’t get his paws on the pass rusher.
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Crosby Is Excited to Work With Rod Marinelli
In 2019, the Cowboys defensive coordinator was Rod Marinelli. He’s now heading to Las Vegas to serve as the Raiders’ defensive line coach. In the end, Crosby gets to be coached by the man he wanted to coach him last year.
“It’s kind of funny how everything worked out,” Crosby said. “Now I get Marinelli just a year later. I’m a better player now, I’m smarter and I have more experience. I know Marinelli can bring a whole other aspect into my game that I need. He’s just gonna add another element to my game… It’s gonna be awesome.”
Marinelli is one of the best defensive minds in the NFL. If anybody can help Crosby get to the next level, it will be him.