The Las Vegas Raiders have taken the approach of not simply asking for people's respect, but demanding it.
The Silver and Black started off their season 3-1, with all three victories being against teams that won at least 10 games last season. And with two of their games on the national stage of primetime Monday Night Football, their hard-nosed play has caught the attention of many, especially Pro Football Focus. PFF writer Sam Monson released the website's NFL First Quarter All-Pro Team, consisting of players that have been exceptional through the first four games of the season.
On their list of First Team players, three Raiders were included – all of them on defense or special teams – while one rookie Raider made the Second Team.
Maxx Crosby: First-Team Edge Rusher
Monson labeled Crosby as "one of the biggest surprises of the season", however it hasn't been a surprise to anyone who's seen Crosby play since becoming a Raider. In his first two seasons since being drafted out of Eastern Michigan, he's led the team in sacks, and currently, he has the most sacks of any player in his 2019 NFL Draft class.
So far this season, Crosby has a 91.6 pass-rushing grade and is leading the NFL in quarterback pressures with 30.
Casey Hayward Jr.: First-Team Cornerback
Hayward Jr. is the third-oldest defensive player on this list, and is playing like he hasn't lost a step.
The longtime Chargers cornerback started anew with the Raiders this season and has proven he's still one of the most elite cornerbacks in the NFL. He has a 84.3 PFF grade on the season and has allowed a mere 46.6 passer rating on passes thrown into his coverage.
Nate Hobbs: Second-Team Cornerback
Right behind Hayward on the Second Team is rookie Nate Hobbs. Hobbs is only one of two defensive rookies that made the list for First or Second Team. Since coming into Training Camp, he's outplayed his fifth-round draft selection and become a top cornerback for the Raiders. He's showcased that he's arguably the best open field tackler on the team as well.
Hobbs' 76.1 PFF grade is the highest for any rookie cornerback this season, and is top-10 among all cornerbacks this season.
AJ Cole: First-Team Punter
While AJ Cole may not see the field a whole lot, but when he does, he makes an impact.
Cole is the complete package when it comes to skillset for a punter with power, hang time and accuracy. On the season, he's averaging 51.5 yards per punt and has placed seven punts inside the 20.
View director of photography Michael Clemens' top picks of black and white photos from the Raiders' Week 4 matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium.