The Denver Broncos paid very little to obtain safety/inside linebacker Su’a Cravens from the Washington Redskins. It’s the kind of low risk, high reward that John Elway has made a name for himself over. From DeMarcus Ware to Emmanuel Sanders, Elway has a knack for picking the right kind of low risk, high reward player. Cravens might be the next.
According to Pro Football Focus, Cravens was well on his way to being a superstar in the NFL after the 2016 season:
- Although he saw only limited snaps against the ground game, Su’a Cravens led the Redskins’ linebacker corps in run-stop percentage.
- When targeted, he allowed a quarterback rating of only 73.1, ranking him fourth among all inside linebackers in the NFL.
- His versatility allows him to be utilized in the front-seven, as a strong safety in base, and in the slot in the nickel.
A head injury and an eventual dispute with the Redskins led to Cravens being sidelined all of 2017. He has been adamant about coming back in 2018, but it was clear he would never report to the Redskins again. That bridge had been burned.
In Cravens, the Broncos might actually have found a solution to a problem that has plagued them since even their Super Bowl year - covering running backs and tight ends in the passing game.
With Aqib Talib being traded to the Los Angeles Rams, the Broncos secondary took a hit. They were still an elite unit in 2017 finished second in forcing three and outs and yards per drive, so getting a young dynamic talent on that side of the ball is huge to maintain the level of play that defensive unit is used to.