Photo of Su'a Cravens
Drafted By: Redskins
  • Round 2
  • Pick 22
  • Overall 53

Combine Results

Grade
5.89 ?
  • 16 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 27.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 114.0 INCH
    Top Performer

Draft Analysis:

"Cravens is an outside linebacker-safety hybrid. He's a really good matchup with pass-catching tight ends. They asked him to do a bunch of stuff at USC. This is a really solid second-round pick." -- Mike Mayock

  • 6'1" Height
  • 32 1/8" Arm Length
  • 226LBS. Weight
  • 9 1/2" Hands

Overview

Cravens' extended family has several NFL ties, including cousin Jordan Cameron (former USC and current Miami Dolphins tight end), distant cousin Manti Te'o (Notre Dame/San Diego Chargers linebacker) and his mother's second cousin David Fulcher (former Arizona State and Cincinnati Bengals safety). While those genes portend great athleticism, Cravens made his own name as the USA Today National High School Defensive Player of the Year in 2012 (97 tackles, eight sacks, three INT). He graduated from Vista Murrieta High a semester early to join USC for 2013, securing a starting spot at strong safety the following fall despite injuring his knee in the spring. Cravens made various Freshman All-American teams as well as honorable mention All-Pac-12 notice (52 tackles, four interceptions). He moved to a safety/linebacker hybrid role as a sophomore (a change he strongly resisted at first), leading the team with 17 tackles for loss (five sacks) and three interceptions to earn third team AP All-American and first-team All-Pac-12 accolades. Cravens repeated those honors in 2015, topping all Trojan defenders with 86 tackles, 15 for loss, and 5.5 sacks and once again showing his overall game by intercepting two passes and breaking up two others.


Pro Day Results


40-yard dash: 4.69 seconds
Vertical: 30 1/2 inches
Short shuttle: 4.41 seconds
3-cone: 6.92 seconds

Analysis

Strengths

Born to be a football player. Combines smarts, instincts and toughness. Will not hesitate to jump into the mix and have proven his ability to make full­-time conversion to linebacker. Outstanding with his hands. Always first with his punch into blocker's frame and unlocks instant arm extension to keep himself clean. Showed ability to engage blocker, shuffle with square pads and disengage for the tackle. Scouts believe he will comfortably carry over 230 pounds in pros. Big boy production comes from always choosing play-making option over passive route. Loves to play on the other side of the line when possible. Sticky hands and can take the ball away if you give him a shot. Posted nine interceptions in three years. Aware in zone coverage, but has some blitz value. Will have immediate impact on special teams coverage.

Weaknesses

Small for an NFL linebacker spot. Lack of length to consistently pull himself around the corner against edge blocks. Former safety who is still learning nuances of the position. Will take time to adjust to NFL power at the point of attack. Will get hooked inside and lose contain. Not as twitched up and fast as expected. Will get engulfed if he doesn't win early with hands. Unable to maintain feel for the target in his trail technique in man coverage. More likely to maul and grab over trusting technique in coverage. Willing to dive and miss rather than working for a higher percentage tackle.

Draft Projection

Rounds 2 or 3

Sources Tell Us

"He's a lot of fun to watch because he processes quickly like an NFL linebacker and then just fires into the play. I've never really cared about the size at the WILL, I just want to know if they have instincts and can run and make plays. That's it. He can do that." -- Former NFL general manager

NFL Comparison

Lavonte David

Bottom Line

Plays with a unique lens that includes his time at the safety position as a freshman. Teams focusing on putting a "tweener" label on him could be making a huge mistake considering his competitive nature and toughness. Cravens was highly disruptive and productive in each of his three seasons as a starter thanks to his tools/traits to act on his instincts. Cravens will help on special teams immediately and could become an early starter for a 4-­3 defense looking for a playmaking weak­-side linebacker.
-Lance Zierlein
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-9.00 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl to All-Pro Ability
6.50-6.99 Good NFL Starter with Pro Bowl Potential
6.00-6.49 Chance to become good NFL starter
5.70-5.99 Could become early NFL starter
5.30-5.69 Backup or eventual starter
5.15-5.29 Developmental prospect or special teams potential
5.01-5.14 Back end of the roster
5.00 50/50 Chance of making the roster

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