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Su'a Cravens

Washington Redskins

OLB

53

USC

 
Strength: Su'a Cravens is a plus athlete by NFL standards. Su'a Cravens has ideal linebacker quickness. Su'a Cravens is a high-motor, high-speed player. Su'a Cravens has the ideal size for a strong safety. Su'a Cravens is a heavy hitter. Su'a Cravens is a quick-adjust tackler who does an exceptional job against quicker ball carriers. Su'a Cravens has a knack for fumbles. Su'a Cravens has good receiving skills. Su'a Cravens has made a lot of plays in the backfield. Su'a Cravens is football smart. Su'a Cravens has elite coverage skills for a linebacker.
Weakness: Su'a Cravens is undersized for an outside linebacker. Su'a Cravens can get locked up by big blockers, particularly on the inside. Su'a Cravens doesn't always do a good job of wrapping up tackles, which may lead to missing tackles against stronger, quicker NFL backs. Su'a Cravens doesn't have ideal speed for a defensive back.
Development: Su'a Cravens is one of those super athlete tweeners that drive talent evaluators nuts. Most of these tweeners never really find a position nor great success. A few of them become the elite among the elite. What Su'a Cravens has that most tweeners coming into the league don't have is an outstanding history of college success against top competition. That's what makes his upside seem a lot more of a sure thing than the average tweener and where the comparisons to guys like Dallas Sartz come to a halt. Sure, Su'a Cravens probably could play tight end or free safety if he put in the work, but he's the rare tweener that already comes in accomplished enough to play in the NFL right now as an every-down outside linebacker in the 4-3 or inside linebacker in the 3-4. At the NFL level he already features the receiving skills of a big outside receiver, the fumble causing skills of a blitzing outside linebacker, the tackling skills and play reads of a middle linebacker, and the fluid hips and coverage skills of a strong safety. However, the Redskins drafted him early because they expect results now, so they'll probably try to put him in the best position to see the field as much as possible as a rookie. That means he'll probably begin as an inside linebacker in base sets and strong safety or outside linebacker in various situational sets. His core duties early will probably be keeping track of 3rd down scat backs and covering receiving-specialist tight ends. He should also get plenty of blitz opportunities. Inside linebacker is probably not the position that will get the most out of his skills in the long term, as his best plays come either when he's up against guys his own size who aren't nearly as athletic as him or when he's working in space, but it is a position he can step into right away and be a plus tackling and covering. Unless he somehow earns a starting role to start the season, anything less than elite special teams performance would be a big disappointment. Over the long-term, unlike most tweeners, he projects with the all-around skill-set to be an every down player at a single position. My gut tells me that he would prefer playing defensive back and that it might lead to a longer career for someone of his size, but his career path will probably follow his early success more than his preferences or what is best for him in the long term.
Fantasy Football Rating: Su'a Cravens is a big play machine, so grab him when he finds a starting position.
Typecast Outlook Opinion: Su'a Cravens is a tweener with good size and speed and a history of game changing plays wherever he plays. The question for Su'a Cravens isn't whether he can play at an NFL level, it's merely whether he will find a place to settle in and become elite.

Next 2016 Rookie: Kendall Fuller's SMSG scouting report.
Go back to Redskins 2016 Rookies List.

 
 

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