By now, most would agree Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby is the most valuable player on the Silver and Black's defense.
The 24-year-old had an outstanding third season with the franchise, posting 56 combined tackles, 30 quarterback hits, and 8.0 sacks, earning himself his first-ever Pro Bowl appearance.
The young defensive end inked a four-year, $98.98-contract extension in March, solidifying himself as a Raider for the foreseeable future.
Not only has Crosby established himself as one of the best to wear the Silver and Black, but he's also become recognized around the league as one of the NFL's best at his position.
On Tuesday morning, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN revealed that Crosby had been ranked at No. 5 among league edge rushers by NFL executives, coaches, scouts, and players.
More than 50 voters were surveyed, having been asked to give their top-10 list of players at 11 positions -- though not every voter went as far as to vote for multiple positions.
Voters had Crosby all over the board, with some placing the Pro Bowler in their top five and others actually leaving him off their list.
One anonymous AFC defensive coach had the following to say about Crosby:
"He's not the most gifted on the list, but he's so damn relentless, and he's got great power [and] knows how to use it. He's a technician, too."
The rankings were conducted based on votes, composite average, interviews, and film analysis.
Ahead of Crosby on the list was Los Angeles Chargers outside linebacker Joey Bosa at No. 4, San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa at No. 3, Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett at No. 2, and Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker and reigning Defensive Player of the Year T.J. Watt at No. 1.
The expectations just keep rising for Crosby. The addition of another elite edge rusher in Chandler Jones could also elevate the young defensive end's game. The two have already established chemistry, and an experienced presence in the locker room could help polish what is already a very impressive arsenal Crosby has at his display.
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