Raiders News: Maxx Crosby ‘Fired Up’ To Work With Christian Wilkins
Christian Wilkins, Raiders
Miami Dolphins linebacker Jaelan Phillips (15) and defensive tackle Christian Wilkins (94) sack Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Aidan O’Connell (4) during the second half of an NFL game at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Nov. 19, 2023.

The Las Vegas Raiders made a big splash on the first day of free agency by signing former Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Christian Wilkins. Wilkins has been one of the best interior linemen over the past couple of years and is an ideal partner for All-Pro Maxx Crosby.

Much like Crosby, Wilkins has been an iron man over the past few years, having not missed a game in three seasons. That, in addition to the energy he brings, has led many to feel he and Crosby will be absolutely dominant for the Raiders going forward.

But Crosby knows there is plenty of work to be done before they can dominate on the field. The Raiders star noted that the two have a lot of potential, but that doesn’t matter until they begin putting in the work on the field together, via Luke Straub of Yahoo Sports:

“Potential is one thing. Action is another,” Crosby said from the Raiders practice facility. “For us, it’s about the work. We have a ton of work to do. Me and Christian haven’t played a single snap together. We haven’t done a single rep together.”

But that being said, Crosby is extremely excited to work with Wilkins and knows that if they can control the line of scrimmage, it will greatly help the Raiders as a whole:

“I’ve said it many times. Christian is a great player,” Crosby said. “I think everything happens for a reason, and I’m fired up to get to work with him. He was here today and had a ton of energy, fired up and ready to go. I know that energy is infectious and that’s something that I try to bring; that’s something he tries to bring. We just want to try to bring everybody with us because at the end of the day, you win and lose games in the trenches. If you have a dominant D-line and O-line, you’re going to be in every single game.

“We’re banking on that. We take a lot of pride in that. And we’re looking forward to being the engine and the generator for this team.”

Last season, Crosby had his best season to date, finishing with a career-high 14.5 sacks and 23 tackles for loss to go along with 90 tackles, 31 QB hits and two forced fumbles on his way to finishing fourth in Defensive Player of the Year voting. Wilkins, meanwhile, more than doubled his career-high with nine sacks last year to go along with 65 total tackles, 23 QB hits and 10 tackles for loss.

The potential of this pairing is obvious. It has the chance to set the tone for the Raiders’ defense and for the team as a whole.

Raiders eyeing offensive lineman or cornerback with first round pick in NFL Draft?

As Maxx Crosby noted, being dominant on the line on both sides is crucial to success, and the Raiders may be looking towards that in the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft.

A recent mock draft discussed the Raiders’ options, noting that the team likes Alabama CB Terrion Arnold but could also look to add an offensive lineman with the 13th pick. In particular, an offensive tackle on the right side could be the ideal addition to help the Raiders fortify the trenches on that side of the ball as well.