Despite slipping to the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, Maxx Crosby quickly became an impact player for the Las Vegas Raiders. He had 10.0 sacks as a rookie and 7.0 sacks in his second year. Though he only has 5.0 sacks this season, he’s been one of the most effective pass rushers in the NFL.
Prior to Week 15, Crosby led the NFL in pressures and pass rush win percentage, according to Pro Football Focus.
The low sack number didn’t stop voters from voting him into the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career. The rise from small school player and late-round draft pick to NFL star has been rapid, but it didn’t happen by accident. Crosby has been one of the Raiders’ hardest workers on top of having elite athletic traits. Six-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy hasn’t been around Crosby long but he’s been impressed with the defensive end. After the news of him getting selected to the Pro Bowl dropped, McCoy sent a very strong message.
ALL the latest Raiders news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on Raiders newsletter here!
Crosby Gets Emotional Talking About Pro Bowl Nod
Crosby is only 24-years-old but has quickly shown maturity beyond his years. He’s been open about his previous battles with alcohol and was in rehab just a couple of years ago. He’s sober now and his added focus is translating to success on the field. Playing the Pro Bowl doesn’t mean much to players but getting selected is a big deal. Crosby got emotional talking about it after the Raiders’ 16-14 win over the Cleveland Browns.
“It just brought back memories,” Crosby said. “I was in rehab, like, almost two years ago and now I’m in a Pro Bowl. It’s just a blessing, man. I show up and try to be the best teammate every day, and show my guys that I care. Um, that sh** just hit home. It’s special.
“It makes my family proud … everybody around me is blowing up my phone and I’m like crying like a baby.”
Crosby also opened up about the moment he found out he got selected to the Pro Bowl.
“I found out right before the game,” Crosby said. “I really did not believe it. I had to take a moment. I broke down. … I just put in so much work. For having my teammates, my peers, coaches around the league … it is a dream come true.”
‘It Is Not All About the Sacks’
In the past, sacks were the stat that determined how effective a pass rusher was. Thanks to advanced analytics, it’s clear that there’s a lot more that goes into what makes a pass rusher great. Crosby is tied for 50th in the NFL in sacks and wouldn’t have made the Pro Bowl even just a decade ago. However, he’s affecting the quarterback on almost every play with how much pressure he consistently brings. Crosby discussed how what he does is more important than his sack number.
“I have five sacks,” Crosby said. “I just want to show people out there that it is not all about the sacks. I have had double digits. I have done things like that. It’s your impact. No matter what it is, it’s your impact in the locker room, it is your impact on the field. Affecting the game no matter what stats I get. I believe I do that every single Sunday. That’s what I try to do. It was super special, for sure.”