Maxx Crosby on Raiders Fourth-Year Linebacker: “People Don’t Realize How Good That Kid Could Be”

Divine Deablo is entering the final year of his rookie contract in 2024, and he has quietly become one of the bright young stars on the Raiders roster.

In 2021, Deablo ran a 4.42 at the NFL combine and was considered one of the most athletic defensive players in the draft. What dropped his draft stock a little was that some teams weren’t sure if he had a natural position in the NFL.

He was perceived to be part linebacker and part safety, and a “tweener” skill set hasn’t always translated to a successful NFL career.

There has been a definite learning curve to Deablo’s three-year NFL career, but in 2023 he posted a career-high 106 tackles and had the highest Pro Football Focus tackling grade of any defensive starter on the Raiders.

Deablo is geverally overlooked at the national level, but Maxx Crosby believes the former third-round pick has a chance to be special in the upcoming season.

“Divine is a freak,” Crosby said this week on The Rush podcast.

“He was a safety in college. Some people don’t know. He was literally a safety and then he moved to linebacker. He reminds me build-wise and speed and things like that of [Isaiah] Simmons from the Giants. A freak athlete and he’s only getting better. Divine could be a [Pro Bowl player] 100 percent. People don’t realize how good that kid could be.”

Raiders’ linebacker Robert Spillane was a guest on Crosby’s podcast, and he shared similar thoughts on Deablo.

“Divine is a real special player in terms of his eyes, abilities and speed,” Spillane said. “His athleticism and strength and contact power… so in terms of his game, he’s got it all. I know he’s been putting in the work this offseason to make it all come together and I’m very excited to see his improvements this year. I know he’s been working tirelessly…”

Looking ahead, Deablo is entering his first contract year in the NFL and he has every motivation to have an even bigger breakthrough in 2024.

As for Crosby and Spillane, they hit on football topics for more than an hour and the full podcast can be viewed below…

twitter: @raidersbeat