Maxx Crosby listed as a defensive player of the year candidate by ESPN’s Bill Barnwell
The Las Vegas Raiders are off to a slow start this season. But it isn’t because of the defensive side of the ball, where they have been solid. That effort has been led by Maxx Crosby, an All-Pro player hoping to create havoc on opposing quarterbacks.
Crosby has 4 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 18 total pressures this year through four games, putting him on pace for a big season. And one analyst believes he can be a dark horse for the Defensive Player of the Year award. Which is great news for the Raiders.
ESPN’s Bill Barnwell wrote on his updated NFL award predictions in terms of winners for the 2022 season and right there Crosby sits in the running for the DPOY.
Here is what Barnwell said about Crosby:
The best thing Jon Gruden did during his time with the Raiders was use a fourth-round pick on Crosby, who might be the most explosive rusher in the league in terms of creating plays in the backfield. Crosby has “only” four sacks this season, but his eight tackles for loss lead the NFL. He is tied with Washington’s Jonathan Allen with nine stuffs, per NFL Next Gen Stats, which shows how effective Crosby is at creating havoc and negative plays.
In terms of tackles that create negative EPA for the offense, Crosby’s 23 have him tied for third and surrounded by a sea of linebackers. The next-highest edge rusher on the list is Cameron Jordan, who has 16 for the Saints.
Crosby is behind Minkah Fitzpatrick and Nick Bosa in Barnwell’s rankings, meaning he has work to do this season. But it’s nice to see him in the rankings early on. A few big games in the coming weeks could really help Crosby’s case as well. And we could see him climb Barnwell’s rankings as well.
The main focus for Crosby and the Raiders will be winning games and getting this thing on track. And the defensive end should have a big role in that.
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