With only seven prospects in this year's combine, USC is experiencing a down year in the NFL Draft. The Trojans are usually synonymous with top-tier talent and normally have players ranked to go in the first two rounds. Even though most of USC's prospects in 2016 are pegged to go in the mid to late rounds, the highest rated player for the Trojans according to most experts is linebacker Su'a Cravens.
It seems like for the last couple of years, Cravens has been a name brought up frequently with anticipation in regards to the NFL. With an exciting style of play and inspiring tenacity, Cravens' Combine performance was one of the more anticipated ones for the Trojans.
Measurements: 6'1″ | 226 lbs | 32 1/8 arms | 9 1/2 hands
Bench: 16 reps
Vertical jump: 27″
The biggest thing that jumps out when looking at Cravens' Combine performance are his measurables. As a linebacker, he's obviously small for either 3-4 or 4-3 defenses.
Tagged as a "hybrid linebacker," Cravens participated in most of the linebacker drills and looked very good doing so. His movement to the ball and fluidity in his hips scream playmaker.
However, with his size, it is a bit difficult to want to a draft a linebacker who also seemingly lacks athleticism on paper. Cravens' bench press reps, broad jump and vertical results were among the bottom percentile and not running 40-yard dash added more insult to injury.
When you turn on the tape on Cravens, his Combine results become irrelevant. He is a natural playmaker and plays an overly aggressive style regardless of what position he is in. With a switch to safety towards to the end of his time at USC, Cravens is open to a position change in the NFL and will take part in secondary drills at USC's Pro Day.
It is difficult to project where Cravens will land. It all depends on how teams choose to rank him -- he could be a Kam Chancellor-esque safety who boasts great size and intensity to the position, or he could emulate Lavonte David who thrives as a weakside linebacker in Tampa Bay's Cover 2 defense.
Regardless of what position he gets drafted as, Cravens is legitimate football player and certainly has the drive and potential to be one of the top defensive players in the NFL.