Su’a Cravens picked by Redskins in second round of 2016 NFL Draft


The Washington Redskins selected USC linebacker Su’a Cravens in the second round of the 2016 NFL draft with the 53rd pick overall.

USC linebacker Su’a Cravens is now a Washington Redskin.

Cravens was selected by Washington in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft as the 53rd pick overall. He is the first Trojan to be taken in this year’s draft.

There has been a great deal of speculation around Cravens in draft preparation, mostly revolving around his NFL position. Having served as both safety and linebacker, his hybrid status can be viewed as both an asset and a curse.

With special football instincts and undeniable football IQ, predicting success for Cravens at the pro level is not difficult. However, there are questions around his lack of elite athletic ability after a mixed bag of Combine results. He also seems to fall between two stools, perhaps too small to play linebacker but too slow to keep up with receivers as a safety.

In Washington, he expects to be a dime linebacker in the mold of Arizona’s Deone Bucannon.

The selection by the Redskins has added meaning as Cravens spoke of his great respect for Washington great Sean Taylor, with whom he shares the No. 21 jersey.

Cravens arrived at USC in 2013 and wasted no time making an impact. After enrolling early and excelling in camp, he earned a starting job at safety for the season opener and logged his first career interception against Hawaii.

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During his exceptional freshman season, Cravens had 52 tackles and four interceptions — including a pivotal turnover during USC’s upset victory over Stanford. For his efforts he was recognized as a Freshman All-American.

Ahead of Cravens’ sophomore season he stepped into a hybrid linebacker role following a season-ending injury to starting strongside linebacker Jabari Ruffin. In that role he led the team with 17 tackles for loss while also topping all Trojans with three interceptions, proving one of the most versatile defenders in the country. He was named to the All-Pac-12 first team.

Entering his junior season, Cravens garnered much national attention which he lived up to, once again helping USC as a hybrid linebacker and stand-in safety as needed. Undoubtedly the best defender on the field for the Trojans at any moment, he tallied 86 tackles and 15 tackles for loss, both of which were team bests.

Cravens was the first Trojan taken in this year’s draft and is the 494 USC player to be selected all-time. Now the wait begins to see the fate of Max Tuerk, Cody Kessler and others.