ASHBURN, Virginia -- Washington Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan’s face changed the minute he heard the name. He was asked about Su'a Cravens, and he started to beam. If you don’t know what McCloughan means when he uses the phrase, “He’s a football player,” just watch Cravens and then listen to his new boss.
The Redskins selected Cravens in the second round of the NFL draft and plan to use him as a linebacker in their dime and nickel packages. That means he’ll be responsible for covering, but they couldn’t use him there if he couldn’t help against the run in the box as well. At USC, Cravens was listed as a safety but used like a weakside linebacker.
“The thing that’s really cool about him is the diversity he brings -- safety, linebacker, maybe a nickel linebacker, maybe a nickel corner,” McCloughan said. “I mean, the guy is a really good football player. And, again, I go back to it all the time -- ‘football player’ -- but he’s smart. Day 1 he walked in the building [at USC], he started there; played in a lot of big games and made a lot of big plays.”
When you watch Cravens on film, it’s evident that he’s a good player -- and almost always around the ball. His instincts were strong and his ability to make plays was solid as well. His passion becomes clear, and that’s something else that drew Washington to him. Cravens doesn’t necessarily solve a big issue, but he does give the Redskins someone who they believe can help.
At some point they’ll also figure out exactly how they want to develop him.
“We’re still figuring that out. We’ve been talking about it. We’re always talking about the first room he walks into -- is it DB, is it linebacker?” McCloughan said. “But that’s a good problem to have, because, again, he’s going to be out here making plays for us. He’s a young guy that’s very energetic, intelligent, and he’s tough. I’m OK with those guys.”