With a month to go before the NFL Draft, no player has been more perplexing in the scouting process than Southern California’s Su’a Cravens.
A 3-year starter, Cravens mostly played a hybrid safety/linebacker role for Steve Sarkesian’s Trojans. Measuring in at 6-foot-1 and 225 lbs at the combine, Cravens totaled 10.5 sacks and 9 INTs in 40 career games. A cousin of NFL veterans Jordan Cameron and Manti Te’o, he was praised for his quick reflexes, high football IQ, and toughness, drawing some comparisons to former Trojans safety Troy Polamalu.
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This is where things begin to get a bit cloudy in terms of how Cravens will fit into the NFL. He’s very much a tweener; too small to be an outside linebacker, and lacking the speed for a safety; relying mostly on his instincts to make plays. At the combine, Cravens only did the bench press, vertical jump, and broad jump, with unimpressive results.
At USC’s pro day, Cravens’ workout continued to raise questions. Other than a 6.92 sec three-cone drill, the rest of his times and measurements were all rather mediocre, including a 4.69 second 40 time. Nonetheless, a representative from every NFL team was in attendance for his workout.
Wednesday, Su’a Cravens’ agent Fadde Mikhail told ProFootballTalk that Cravens, “would not be doing any private workouts for teams”. This a strange thing to say for any healthy prospect, especially a month before the NFL Draft. Mikhail cited both his client’s body of work on the field and the amount of requests he’s gotten for the reason for his refusal.
“Su’a is a football player. He is a playmaker at whatever position he’s at, whether it’s safety or linebacker. Su’a has three years of film while an All-American at USC, plus he did the Combine and did everything at his Pro Day on March 23 where all 32 NFL clubs were present.” — NFL Agent Faddie Mikhail
He certainly has a point. Cravens, who has been mocked by experts anywhere from an early first-round pick to a late third, doesn’t necessarily test well. It makes some sense to skip these workouts. They don’t highlight the best parts of his game, and while it’s incredibly uncommon, private workouts do hold a chance for injury. And it’s not like he’s forgoing team interviews and meetings altogether.
At this point, all prospects stock should be firmly established, barring some kind of off the field incident. Cravens, nor any other athlete’s tape has not changed since January, and even with the combine over and pro days wrapping up, teams should have their big boards pretty much set. So even if it is just a scheduling issue, it absolutely makes sense for him to sit out of drills that don’t involve shoulder pads and in-game situations.
The NFL Draft begins Thursday, April 28 at Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre.