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Su'a Cravens NFL Draft 2016: Scouting Report, Grade for Redskins Rookie

B/R Video@@bleacherreportB/R VideoApril 30, 2016

POSITIVES

A safety during the first one-and-a-half seasons at USC, Su’a Cravens started playing closer and closer to the ball as a sophomore before finally making the move to linebacker in his junior and final year. An athletic, rangy, intelligent prospect, NFL teams will want Cravens attacking the ball as a matchup nightmare.

Cravens is versatile, and watching him live against Notre Dame, you see him play on the edge of the line, split out covering the slot and even in the middle of the field. A capable defensive coordinator will have a lot of tools to work with. Cravens is fluid and athletic with natural man-coverage skills and the speed to cover tight ends all over the field.

Against the run, Cravens did a nice job whipping around the edge and pursuing the ball away from him and stacking up to hold his edge. On stretch runs he avoids blocks and makes plays. Cravens is able to slip blocks to make tackles in traffic.

A smart player on the field, Cravens is a leader on defense and has a tremendous work ethic.

NEGATIVES

A lack of ideal size for a linebacker position will be an issue for some teams—but it’s worth noting that safeties Deone Bucannon and Mark Barron are now playing linebacker full time. Cravens' biggest battle will be hanging in against NFL offensive linemen pulling down the path at him.

Cravens must also convince teams that he wants to play linebacker. Throughout the draft process, he’s wavered back and forth about what position he will play. Cravens also canceled predraft visits with a number of teams due to a lack of time for training and travel. That may rub some folks the wrong way.

If asked to play full time at linebacker, Cravens will need to work to fight through congestion to make plays. As it stands, he wants to loop around blockers and win with speed, but he’ll have to learn to go through blockers to hold contain and stuff the ball.


COMBINE RESULTS

Height: 6'1"

Weight: 226 lbs.

40 Time: 4.69s

3-Cone: 6.92s

Short Shuttle: 4.69s

PRO COMPARISON: Jaquiski Tartt, San Francisco 49ers
FINAL GRADE: 6.75/9.00 (Round 2—Future Starter)

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