PFF scouting report: Su'a Cravens, OLB, USC
Below is the PFF draft profile for USC’s Su’a Cravens, which incorporates PFF’s college grades and scouting intel from our team of analysts. To see all of PFF’s 2016 scouting reports, click here.
4-3 outside linebacker or in the box strong safety
Stats to know:
Had a positive PFF grade in every facet PFF measures in each of the past two seasons
What he does best:
• Can affect the play from in and around the line of scrimmage in all areas
• Can rush the passer on the blitz, has 11 sacks and 30 total pressures over the past two seasons as a safety
• Very good at cleaning up against the run, can knife in from the side of the play and cut backs down at the line of scrimmage. Had 45 defensive stops from 55 tackles this season
• Covers well for a player of his size. May not excel deep down the field, but can cover short zones and match up with backs and tight ends in space and come out on top
• For a hard-hitting, wrecking ball of a player has just three penalties over two years
• What is he? Played a safety/linebacker hybrid role at USC that doesn’t really exist at the NFL level. Teams will need to decide where he will play and if he translates exactly into their scheme
• If he is a safety, can he play the deep zones? Only 8-of-341 snaps in coverage last year were as a true FS more than eight yards off the line of scrimmage
• Athleticism if he’s playing safety? Pro day numbers were better than combine, and yet 30-inch vertical and 4.65 40-yard dash time remain pretty pedestrian
Thomas Davis, Carolina Panthers. The team that drafts Cravens will likely be hoping that his best-case scenario is becoming the new Thomas Davis, a safety convert with the skills to play weakside linebacker and showcase his playmaking ability in that regard. Davis was a similar size to Cravens coming out but showcased superior athleticism before converting to linebacker.
Cravens is one of a handful of players in this draft where the biggest question is not “can he play?” but rather “where do we play him?” To really maximize his potential he needs to land with the right team, one that is prepared to work with him and put him in the best spot to succeed. If that happens, he could be one of the stars of this draft, because he has a way of making plays few can match.