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Su'a Cravens | Linebacker

Team: USC Trojans
Age / DOB:  (20) / 7/7/1995
Ht / Wt:  6'1' / 205

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Pro Football Focus analyst Kevin Connaghan writes that USC LB/S Su'a Cravens "excelled in coverage, holding quarterbacks targeting his coverage to a 52.3 passer rating over the past two seasons."
A spicy meatball of a stat right there. Cravens' coverage skills are so finely attuned because he actually began his career as a safety before finishing his final two seasons with the Trojans as a linebacker. Noted Connaghan, "He thrived in that hybrid role [covering the slot at LB], showing the ability to set the edge and play the run at a high level, and also contribute as a pass rusher." A recent four-round mock draft by NFL Media analyst Chad Reuter had the Bengals selecting Cravens with pick No. 55 in the back half of the second round. Feb 7 - 6:00 PM

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USC junior LB/S Su'a Cravens will declare for the 2016 NFL Draft.

Josh Norris reported as much on Dec. 7. Cravens' projection will be debated throughput the draft process, as Shaq Thompson's was. Cravens started his career as a safety and moved down to linebacker over time. A position title will be important to some, but Cravens might play a Deone Bucannon role in the NFL. A first round pick is a possibility, and many will be watching Cravens' workout at the Combine.
Wed, Dec 16, 2015 01:33:00 PM

Rotoworld draft analyst Josh Norris wrote that "all indications (and sources) point to [USC junior LB/S Su'a Cravens] turning pro."

Cravens has tweeted that he'll be making his decision regarding the 2016 NFL Draft next week. Per draft analyst Norris, the 6-foot-1, 225-pound junior is likely to forego his senior season for potential NFL glory. In mid-November, Norris ranked Cravens as the No. 9 linebacker prospect in the country. After a strong game against UCLA on November 28, NFL Media draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah wrote that Cravens' best fit at the next level would be in a 4-3 defense as an inside linebacker.
Mon, Dec 7, 2015 07:45:00 PM

USC junior LB/S Su'a Cravens impressed's Daniel Jeremiah with his coverage ability Saturday against UCLA.

Coverage is a very important aspect of Cravens' evaluation. The NFL has not yet decided whether the 6-foot-1, 225-pound Cravens should lose weight and play safety or bulk up and play linebacker. "He matched up with UCLA's talented slot receiver Thomas Duarte on almost a down-by-down basis," Jeremiah wrote of Saturday's action. "Duarte did catch a touchdown pass with Cravens draped all over him, but I was very impressed with the man-cover skills displayed by the talented junior linebacker. He broke up several passes and almost came away with an interception. He was quick to react to the run game and fill the hole." So where does Jeremiah side in the position debate? "I prefer him as a 4-3 weakside linebacker at the next level, where he can run and chase against the run and match up with backs and tight ends in the passing game," he wrote.
Sun, Nov 29, 2015 11:43:00 AM

USC limited Cal to just 61 offensive plays on Saturday, 20 fewer than the Bears' average.

Cal quarterback Jared Goff only attempted 31 passes, his second lowest output of the season. The two interceptions played a part in that, possibly ending drives sooner than normal. USC has been extremely up and down this season, but in the last two weeks they have looked incredibly impressive.
Source: OC Register
Mon, Nov 2, 2015 10:33:00 AM

USC junior LB/S Su'a Cravens "can be a difference maker as he’s disruptive on the blitz and shows cover skills between the numbers," TFY Draft Insider Tony Pauline observes.

The 6-foot-1, 225-pound prospect gives the Trojans a versatile chess piece for the Trojans' defense, as Cravens possesses the type of athleticism to be all over the field. Pauline expects the "top 60 junior" to enter the draft.
Fri, Oct 30, 2015 03:32:00 PM

An NFC Pac-12 scout maintains that USC junior LB/S Su'a Cravens can play linebacker in the NFL.

The 6-foot-1, 225-pound Cravens has the violent game of an NFL linebacker, but some may think he's too small to handle the beating. This scout isn't one of those people. "I have no doubt that (Su'a) Cravens can play down in the box in the pros," he said. "He will either be a 4-3 WILL (outside linebacker) or a 3-4 inside 'backer. He's carrying his new weight well and he's tough enough to play down there as a pro." Replied's Lance Zierlein: "Players that used to be known as 'tweeners' are now called hybrid players, and they carry more value due to their ability to match up against the increasing percentage of sub-packages that offenses are running out on the field. Cravens would have been a devalued box safety in the past, but he might be considered a valuable matchup player in today's game." Cravens is likely to enter the draft, according to TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline.
Wed, Oct 28, 2015 08:32:00 PM

NFL Media's Lance Zierlein reports that he spoke to an NFL scout who believes that USC junior LB/S Su'a Cravens "can absolutely transition into a 4-3 WILL outside linebacker spot or a 3-4 inside linebacker spot."

"Cravens was unspectacular but manned his position and took on bigger blockers, disengaging and leveraging his gap," Zierlein wrote. "Cravens showed his edge speed on back-side chases and lined up in coverage on slot receivers. With so many defenses having to play sub-packages more than base defense, hybrid talents like Cravens will carry a higher draft grade than they would have in the past." The 6-foot-1, 225-pound Cravens will likely enter the draft, TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline reported earlier this month.
Sun, Oct 25, 2015 01:59:00 PM

CBS Sports' Dane Brugler describes USC junior LB/S Su'a Cravens as a "smart, aggressive pursuit player."

"One of the most versatile defenders in college football, Cravens lines up mostly at the line of scrimmage because he's the Trojans' best blitzer, but he will also drop in space and cover with the traits to legitimately line up at linebacker, safety or cornerback," Brugler writes. The 6-foot-1, 225-pound Cravens gives the Trojans a versatile chess piece for their defense, as Cravens has the kind of athleticism to be all over the field.
Source: CBS Sports
Thu, Oct 22, 2015 02:23:00 PM

TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline reports that USC junior LB/S Su'a Cravens will likely enter the draft.

No surprise here. There's trouble in paradise down in Southern California and Cravens, a projected first-rounder, is plenty motivated to escape it. The 6-foot-1, 225-pound Cravens is compared by ESPN's Mel Kiper to Kam Chancellor. Cravens has also been comped to former Washington OLB/S Shaq Thompson.
Tue, Oct 13, 2015 08:17:00 PM

ESPN's Mel Kiper compares USC junior LB/S Su'a Cravens to Kam Chancellor.

Perhaps even a better Chancellor. "Only Cravens is even better (than Chancellor) attacking the backfield, where he was a tackle-for-loss machine last year and is off to a great start this year," Kiper wrote. "He's listed at OLB, but what you're really getting is a dominant box safety, a guy who can cover but also make plays against the run sideline to sideline. He's a first-rounder if the draft is tomorrow; definitely rising on my Big Board." The 6-foot-1, 225-pound Cravens is often compared to either Chancellor or OLB/S in the Shaq Thompson.
Source: ESPN
Tue, Sep 29, 2015 03:27:00 PM

The biggest question by many is whether USC junior LB/S Su'a Cravens "will play safety or linebacker at the next level," TFY Draft Insider Tony Pauline notes.

"If Thompson is the top senior safety in the nation few would argue the number one junior at the position, and possibly the best prospect regardless of year, is Cravens," Pauline wrote. The 6-foot-1, 225-pound Cravens is a more of a hybrid OLB/S like Panthers' first-round selection, Shaq Thompson. Cravens has the ability to line up at safety, LB or take snaps at CB. Against Arizona State this past weekend, the USC stud recorded a team high six tackles, with two tackles for a loss and a forced fumble. Pauline notes that Cravens is "omnipresent every Saturday and is constantly around the action."
Mon, Sep 28, 2015 03:25:00 PM

USC junior LB/S Su'a Cravens "displays the well-rounded and athletic skill-set to play a Kam Chancellor-like role at the NFL level," CBS Sports Dane Brugler observes.

Last Saturday, the 6-foot-1, 225-pounder recorded 13 tackles, 1 sack and a pass break-up against Stanford. The hybrid safety-linebacker has the ability to make plays all over the field, and is a versatile chess piece in Justin Wilcox's defense. Brugler adds that Cravens is a "fluid athlete to easily change directions and play controlled in space, sniffing out the run and putting himself in position to make tackles for loss."
Source: CBS Sports
Thu, Sep 24, 2015 03:40:00 PM

USC junior LB/S Su'a Cravens "is a forceful safety, disrupting the action up the field against the run while showing competent ball skills in coverage," according to TFY Draft Insider Tony Pauline.

The only question left for the NFL is what position the 6-foot-1, 225-pounder will play, as Cravens is a more of a hybrid OLB/S in the Shaq Thompson mold. "Cravens is big boy, maybe too big for safety and may get consideration as a one-gap linebacker," Pauline wrote, grading Cravens as a second-rounder.
Sat, Aug 22, 2015 06:36:00 PM

The "Troy Polamalu comparisons have already begun" for USC junior LB/S Su'a Cravens, points out NFL Media draft analyst Chad Reuter.

"It's tough to fully ignore that comp because he does explode into the backfield to stop the run and is able to sneak in front of second-level passes as well," he wrote. Cravens makes plays all over the field, now evaluators will just have to decide where to position him at the next level. At 6-foot-1, 225 pounds, Cravens is hybrid safety/linebacker, more of a defensive weapon than anything, a willing kamikaze. Last year, he posted 68 tackles, 17 TFL, five sacks, three interceptions and nine pass breakups.
Tue, Aug 11, 2015 08:45:00 PM