Chris Varughese

The Bears Brawl Writer, Jr. Editor and Draft Expert

Outside linebacker has been a position of strength for the Bears’, especially last year. Health was a major part of that equation, especially on behalf of Leonard Floyd. Floyd blossomed towards the end of the season and showed that he can be the starter opposite to Pro Bowler Khalil Mack. Behind them the best options are Isaiah Irving and Kylie Fitts. While Irving has shown flashes and Fitts is a developmental project in his second year, it is a good idea to add more depth to the position, especially for rotational purposes and keeping Floyd and Mack as fresh as possible.

 

Maxx Crosby stands 6’5 and weighs in at about 255 lbs. He is right between Leonard Floyd (6’6) and Khalil Mack (6’3) as far as height goes. Floyd and Mack both also weighed over 240 lbs coming out of college. When looking at these measurements, it’s clear to see that Crosby is someone to be excited about, but there are also some concerns in his game.

Source: Michael Reaves/Getty Images North America

Positives:

Maxx Crosby’s height is a very good aspect to his game. Most defenders play him as a strength rusher, which is his greatest advantage. Crosby isn’t the fastest or strongest, but what he does do well is set up the tackle to gain leverage. His hand-fighting is one of the more sophisticated in college football. With his height it’s very hard to gain leverage. Crosby has a great bend around the edge to fix this. He can not only set up the tackle, but his bend around the edge allows him to get to the quarterback. This makes it hard for offensive tackles to plan against him. He also sets the edge very well in the run game, and his length allows him to cover a lot of ground very fast. He also has good vision to disrupt run-option plays. He has 1 interception to go with a strong 7.5 sacks. He also has 3 forced fumbles, which shows his propensity to get to the football.

Negatives:

One thing to be concerned about when it comes with Crosby is that he doesn’t know how to use his strength. At 255 lbs he has adequate strength to set the edge, but he is definitely not a strength rusher. That is obviously something that will come with age and time, but for the purpose of examining him right now it is definitely a weaker point of his game. Something that is also concerning is his lack of explosiveness off the line. It is harder to be explosive with that kind of height, but his slow first step is definitely an area of concern. He uses other parts of his game to compensate for this, but if he doesn’t work on adding explosiveness to his game he will struggle against NFL level competition. His lack of explosiveness also extends to the run game, as sometimes he is seen hitting gaps too late on stunts and allows the run to get by him.

Summary:

Maxx Crosby is someone to definitely be excited about. One of the more mysterious prospects due to where he went to school and his rare size. He can end up being a steal in the later rounds if he works on becoming a well rounded pass rusher. He already has the hand fighting and bending techniques mastered well. Those are usually the harder aspects of a pass rusher’s game to learn. Now Crosby just needs to go backtrack a little and work on his strength rushing and explosiveness. Something that can actually help his explosiveness is coming out off a standing start instead of a 3 point stance that he played in college. By no means is a team getting a complete prospect when they draft Crosby, but they are getting a hard worker who has potential through the roof.