Joseph Plotner says:
"4 more years of Mad Maxx."
When you have the chance to lock up homegrown talent that's among the best in the league at their position, you do it. No questions asked.
Since he was drafted in the fourth round by the Raiders in 2019, Maxx Crosby has given his all to the organization, including space on his forearm for a tattoo of the shield. Crosby has the most career sacks of any player drafted in 2019, and is coming off a season where he accumulated over 100 quarterback pressures, 10 sacks, a second team All-Pro selection and a Pro Bowl MVP.
The sky is the limit for the 24-year-old, who Head Coach Josh McDaniels sees as the future franchise superstar of the Silver and Black.
"It's an important position. If you can score or affect the quarterback on defense, those are two really important things to every football team, and obviously Maxx can do that," said McDaniels. "He can affect the quarterback on the other team. The other thing I love about Maxx Crosby is, he's in the building first every day. I'm not sure I know anybody that works any harder at his craft than he does.
"He's unselfish. He's got a great team first attitude. He's a great example for what you want in a football player. And so, to reward people that do those kind of things, you never regret those things. It's exciting for our team and our organization to have an opportunity to watch him grow into the person and player that he's become, and then we're all going to be witness to it going forward."
Benjamin Villescas says:
"Jayon Brown, he can cover and is good in space."
Along with Mack Hollins, Brown is one of the more underrated signings the Raiders have made this offseason.
When Brown is healthy, he's proven that he can be a great linebacker. He comes from what was an elite defense with the Titans, and fills a vital need at linebacker for the Raiders. He has an opportunity from the jump to establish himself as a starter in Patrick Graham's defense – alongside Pro Bowler Denzel Perryman.
Brown's track record of excelling in coverage is a necessity for the Silver and Black, who'll have to face stellar big body pass catchers like Travis Kelce and Mike Williams in the AFC West. From 2018-2020, Brown recorded three interceptions and 22 pass deflections. Like I said earlier, if he stays healthy this season, I believe he could be a high impact player for the Raiders.
Kenny Cirella says:
"Rock Ya-Sin is a very underrated addition that no one seems to bring up."
I thought the exact same thing, Kenny.
Ya-Sin has been a pretty productive player in the NFL, and I believe he hasn't even touched the surface of what he can be at this level. He was a prospect everyone was wowed by coming out of Temple, and he lucked out going to the Indianapolis Colts. With the Colts, he was surrounded by good players and leaders such as Kenny Moore II, Darius Leonard and DeForest Buckner. It's hard to imagine he didn't pick up a thing or two from those guys when he was in Indy.
Additionally, he excels in man coverage – he had seven pass deflections last season. General Manager Dave Ziegler spoke at the owners meetings about his excitement of acquiring Ya-Sin – as he was a player the Patriots were looking closely into in 2019.
"Ya-Sin was a guy that I did some work on in New England before the draft and went out to Temple and spent time with him there. Really got to know, I'd say the person and the football," said Ziegler. "The person in terms of personality, but also the football intelligence piece. Just got to know the player. We liked him coming out. We've watched him from afar, watched him develop, watched him grow and he's still a young, ascending player."