Raiders News: Christian Wilkins Calls Maxx Crosby ‘Real Deal’
Christian Wilkins, Dolphins, Raiders
Dec 24, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Christian Wilkins (94) looks on against the Dallas Cowboys during the second quarter at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

In the NFL, winning along the trenches is typically the best method for success, and the Las Vegas Raiders seem to buy into this philosophy after signing Christian Wilkins this past free agency period.

Las Vegas landed Wilkins with a four-year, $110 million deal, marking the first big move under general manager Tom Telesco. Wilkins was widely considered the best defensive player in free agency, and the Raiders saw the opportunity to place him alongside Maxx Crosby.

With Crosby and Wilkins on along the defensive line, Las Vegas arguably has the best pass-rushing tandem in the league. Crosby turned in a career year in 2023 and might have even more room to operate, with Wilkins disrupting the interior.

Wilkins and Crosby will have to wait a couple more months to suit up officially next to each other, but the former’s already been impressed watching his new teammate up close via Ezekiel Trezevant of Sports Illustrated:

“I was going to say I definitely second that Maxx [Crosby] is the real deal, and I see why he’s done the things he’s done in this league,” Wilkins said last week. “Obviously, I’ve known Maxx for a long time, since college.

“But seeing it up close and personal each and every day, it’s like, ‘Damn, this guy doesn’t stop.’ He’s about the right stuff, and that’s good to see. So that even challenges me, just mentally, every day, like, ‘Alright, I have to bring it because I know he’s going to bring it,’ and vice versa.”

Crosby is renowned for his relentless motor and work ethic and it sounds like he’s already rubbing off on Wilkins. Crosby went from a relative unknown when he got drafted to now a perennial NFL Defensive Player of the Year candidate.

With Crosby and Wilkins up front, the Raiders should see a massive boost in defensive production, which will allow them to stay competitive in games. Las Vegas showed real improvement on that side of the field once head coach Antonio Pierce took over, and there’s little reason to doubt that they can’t build on that momentum.

Raiders’ Antonio Pierce says teams should worry about Maxx Crosby and Christian Wilkins

There’s been a lot of chatter regarding the Raiders’ quarterback situation, as there will be a training camp battle between Gardner Minshew and Aidan O’Connell. However, Pierce shot back at any doubters when he said that teams shouldn’t be worried about their quarterbacks but Crosby and Wilkins instead.