Su’a Cravens Declares for 2016 NFL Draft


Su’a Cravens announced his decision to declare for the 2016 NFL Draft Wednesday on Twitter, choosing to forgo his senior season at USC.

Cravens is projected as a potential late first round or early second round draft pick. At USC he exhibited great versatility as safety and a hybrid linebacker. Settling on his pro position will be the big mystery of his draft story.

Many scouts have projected him as an outside linebacker in a 4-3 or an inside linebacker in a 3-4, but Cravens himself told reporters after the Pac-12 Championship Game that he sees himself as a safety and intends to play that position in the NFL.

Without Cravens, USC will be down a team leader and the undisputed MVP of the defense. Highly-touted linebacker recruit John Houston may be called upon to fill Cravens’ shoes at strongside linebacker after a year of redshirting. Uchenna Nwosu, who backed up Cravens this season, may also be in line to ascend into the starting job.

After enrolling early at USC in 2013, Cravens began his career with an immediate impact. He earned a starting safety job to begin the season and caught an interception in his first ever game in cardinal and gold. Starting most of the year, Cravens was named a first team freshman All-American by several outlets and earned an All-Pac-12 honorable mention.

More from Reign of Troy

Cravens switched roles as a sophomore, filling in as a hybrid outside linebacker in 2014. Another strong year of performances saw him make the AP All-American third team and All-Pac-12 first team. He was also named USC’s Defensie Perimeter Player of the Year.

As a junior, Cravens level never wavered. As the team captain of the defense he led the Trojans with 78 tackles and 14.5 tackles for loss. Cravens once again was recognized as an All-American third teamer, though he missed out on first team status.

The junior linebacker-safety has 198 tackles, 33 tackles for loss, 16 deflections and 9 interceptions in 39 career starts for the Trojans.

With his NFL plans now set, Cravens will finish out the season and his career as a Trojan in the Holiday Bowl against Wisconsin.