According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Denver Broncos are in trade talks for Washington hybrid safety/linebacker, Su’a Cravens and are the likely landing spot for the former second-round pick. The compensation for this potential deal hasn’t been announced.
The #Broncos are in talks to trade for #Redskins S Su’a Cravens, sources say. They are the team most interested and the likely landing spot for the talented former 2nd rounder, though no deal is done yet.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 28, 2018
Washington selected Cravens with their 53rd pick in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Cravens played in 11 games his rookie year, including 3 starts and totaled 34 tackles, 1 sack, 5 pass deflections, and 1 interception.
Cravens was placed on the reserve/left squad last year after he dealt with concussion issues and contemplated retirement. However, he decided to continue his NFL career but did not play a single snap last season. However, he was reinstated by the NFL a few weeks ago and Washington was looking to move him. Now he appears to be on his way to the Broncos.
As a sub package linebacker in 2016, Su'a Cravens stood out in coverage as a rookie. pic.twitter.com/ChmtNw6qcd— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) June 15, 2017
He would provide the Broncos with a hybrid safety/linebacker who can play all over for the Broncos defense. I really like this move, especially if his health is at 100%(He was cleared medically). He’s only 22 years old and a former second-round pick, so the Broncos are potentially adding some youth and talent to their secondary.
Here is NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein wrote about Cravens prior to the 2016 NFL Draft.
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.
Here are his Pro Day results from 2016 as well.
- 40-yard dash: 4.69 seconds
- Vertical: 30 1/2 inches
- Short shuttle: 4.41 seconds
- 3-cone: 6.92 seconds
Cravens may make current safety Darian Stewart’s roster status in danger since he will likely play some safety for the Broncos. Plus, the Broncos are looking to shed salary so they can go all in on impending free agent Kirk Cousins.
I really like this move and hope it goes through. Cravens would be an excellent addition to the Broncos defense.