‘Can’t wait’: Eastern Michigan’s Maxx Crosby eager to reward Raiders’ faith in him

David Goricki
The Detroit News
Maxx Crosby

Eastern Michigan’s Maxx Crosby celebrated hearing his name being called early Saturday afternoon to kick off the third and final day of the NFL Draft by doing a cannonball in the family pool in Texas.

Crosby, a 6-foot-5, 255-pound defensive end, was the fourth pick of the fourth round – No. 106 overall – by the Oakland Raiders.

“I’ve been watching Raiders football for a long time and Antonio Brown is there now and they are really trying to change the culture and go in the right direction,” Crosby said. “Drafting (Clemson defensive end) Clelin Ferrell (No. 4 overall) and myself, we’re super excited. Clelin is my buddy. I’m just so excited. I can’t wait to get out there.”

Crosby is also looking forward to playing for Raiders coach Jon Gruden, who guided Tampa Bay to the Super Bowl title in 2002.

“I’ve been watching Coach Gruden for so long and he’s a legend, and learning from the best is going to be super crucial and I’m super excited to begin the next chapter in my life and getting on the field,” said Crosby

Crosby is the highest Eastern Michigan player taken in the draft since T.J. Lang (Birmingham Brother Rice) was selected in the fourth round by the Packers 10 years ago.

Crosby played a huge role in ending EMU’s 20-year run of consecutive non-winning seasons when he helped the Eagles earn a bowl bid his freshman year, then another winning season and bowl bid his junior year in 2018.

Crosby, who decided to forgo his senior season to enter the NFL Draft, earned first-team All-MAC honors his sophomore and junior seasons, combining for 18.5 sacks and 35.5 TFL.

Crosby participated in the NFL Combine this past winter in Indianapolis and opened some eyes with his 4.66 40 time, along with his 36-inch vertical, 6.89 3-cone drill and 122.0 broad jump.

Crosby’s performance at the combine was comparable or better than such high-profile defensive ends as Nick Bosa of Ohio State (4.79, 33.5 vertical, 7.1 3-cone, 116.0 broad jump), who was picked No. 2 overall by the 49ers, and Michigan’s Rashan Gary (4.58, 38 vertical, 7.26 3-cone, 120.0 broad jump), who was picked No. 12 overall by the Packers.

Crosby’s cone drill time was second-best among the 15 edge-rushers at the combine, as was his 20-yard shuttle time of 4.13, after Michigan’s Chase Winovich who was a third-round pick of the Super Bowl champion Patriots.

“Being from a small school and just being a little undersized in a lot of people’s eyes, for me going to the combine I wanted to show up bigger, and showing them that I could move at the highest level, I felt like I did that,” Crosby said. “I went to the combine and I was just super confident and wanted to show them what I could do. Coach Gruden and Mr. (GM Mike) Mayock and all of them believed in me and that’s all that matters. I just can’t wait to get out there and start the journey.”

Crosby’s journey has already been an impressive one. He came to EMU at 212 pounds and put on more than 40 pounds while not losing any of his athleticism.

“Going to Eastern, the main thing that attracted me to them, being a part of a turnaround, and the last three years we went to two bowl games and felt we could have been to a third,” Crosby said. “It was awesome to be a part of that. It was such an awesome experience and I give so much credit to my coaches and teammates for making it happen.”

Crosby said he hopes to show the Raiders he is a “pass-rusher first.”

“I get after the quarterback and I’m a game-changer, somebody that’s going to take the ball away from the offense,” he said. “I feel like I can consistently do that and I’m just ready to get out there and show them what I can do and prove them right.”