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Maxx Crosby Could Have A Place On The Redskins As A Designated Pass Rusher

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Hogs Haven takes a look at 2019 NFL Draft prospects that could contribute to the Redskins

Eastern Michigan v Miami Ohio Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Maxx Crosby, EDGE
School: Eastern Michigan | Conference: Big Sky
College Experience: Junior | Age: 20?
Height / Weight: 6-4 / 255 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 4th or 5th Round
NFL Comparison: Randy Gregory

College Statistics

Player Overview

Maxx Crosby was the best player on Eastern Michigan’s squad for the past two seasons. He had an impact almost immediately when he committed to program back in 2015. Rated as just a 2-star prospect Eastern Michigan was the only school that offered him a scholarship. Crosby is tied for first place regarding career sacks and most sacks in a single season in Eastern Michigan history with 20 sacks and 11 sacks respectively. Crosby says his goal regarding his playing style is to emphasize violence and intensity on every snap. There are certainly moments where these endearing qualities show up on tape and it is without question that Crosby has improved a lot and has become a more well rounded player through his time at Eastern Michigan. He also has a goal of facing off with Taylor Lewan and emulating Joey Bosa or Chandler Jones. Crosby took a big step in the right direction with his pleasantly surprising performance at the NFL combine. Crosby outperformed expectations, some drastically, and is now in the conversation when you talk about the most athletic players in the draft class at his position. Crosby could see the field early on in his career as a speed rusher and has the physical and athletic upside to improve enough to see more of a full time workload eventually.

Strengths

  • Excellent speed, athleticism, and length for the position.
  • Disruptive player who uses his length and quickness to work past offensive tackles. Has a nice swat/swim move that keeps OL hands off him as he works in the backfield. His attacks are effective working outside the tackle and working inside.
  • Aware and active hands as he closes in on the QB will raise them to try and swat the ball down will try and locate the ball and punch it out as he making tackles. Read and react ability looks good. Does have some violent pop behind his hits which can halt opposing momentum. Has decent functional strength that helps him take on blocks and even work through double teams.
  • Shows some versatility in terms of scheme has played both strong and weakside and has lined up as a 9,7, and 5-tech.

Weaknesses

  • While functional strength is ok there is certainly a ton of frame for him to add weight and strength. I imagine his strength isn’t satisfactory to his standards either as the bench press was the only exercise he skipped at the combine.
  • Contact balance could be better. He isn’t as flexible as perhaps his cone number may indicate so when he’s making those sharp bends he can lose his footing.
  • I couldn’t find any evidence of him dropping back into coverage. He is likely a DE at the next level regardless but if anyone is thinking of converting him to OLB it probably should be as a pure rusher.
  • Does not show enough counters or quickness to get off blocks when playing the run. In a lot of instances if he’s not already in the backfield he’s not effective in this area. Raw player in a lot of ways.

Let’s see his work:

More Maxx Crosby videos

How He Would Fit On The Redskins

Crosby isn’t the best fit given the Redskins current scheme as an OLB. The Redskins require their OLBs to drop back in coverage a lot of the time and for a guy who did not do that in college it would be slim to none that that transition goes well and he isn’t exposed in that area. Crosby does have some great fundamentals and traits to work with though but on a 3-4 base team (and arguably even a 4-3) it is going to take him a while not only to learn technique and the nuances in that area but also to build up his body. He said he wants to be like Chandler Jones and Joey Bosa but those guys are 10-15 lbs heavier than him so we are looking at not an insignificant transformation over probably a couple of seasons. None of this means that Crosby has the ride the pine 100% of the time while he prepares for any team even the Redskins. He has solid experience as a 7 and 9-tech aka the designated rusher. He can certainly contribute in this role for the Redskins, one the team used a couple of seasons ago for Junior Galette with some frequency. Crosby is also an interesting prospect to consider given the blurred lines between base scheme and personnel in this nickel packages. 5 seasons ago it would be insane to consider a player like him for a 3-4 now its considerably less so. Another wrinkle is his actual position. I actually think he should stay at DE and ‘bulk up’ with that 10-15 lb goal in mind. He certainly wouldn’t be in the traditional mold of what the Redskins have used at that position in terms of size but with his athleticism and with the alignment he would play on the field he could cause real problems once he gets a handle on his technique and counters from coach Tomsula. All of this assumes that the Redskins would open up their defensive playbook a little, but that might be asking too much.