December 18, 2015 - Greg Gabriel
NFP Prospect Focus: Su'a Cravens and Romeo Okwara
Su’a Cravens – OLB/DS – USC Cravens is a third-year junior and three-year starter who has already stated that he will enter the 2016 NFL Draft. He is a former 5-star recruit who played safety his first year at USC. In 2014 he was switched to a hybrid safety/linebacker position and this season he played as an outside linebacker. Size – 6'1" – 222 – 4.50 (all estimates) Strong Points – Exceptional athlete with excellent body control and very good speed. Excellent space player who gets in on a number of plays. Plays the run well and is also a good pass defender. Can line up in man or zone coverage. Great range. Very productive within the USC defensive scheme Weak Points – Size to play linebacker. Not a point of attack player. Not show top strength at the point of attack and can be slow off blocks. Will miss some tackles. More of a reactor than an instinctive player (three different positions in three years) Summation – Cravens is a special athlete but not necessarily a special player. He has some rare tools and can become an excellent NFL player if used the right way and if he plays in the right scheme. He is not for everyone. With some teams like Arizona looking for that hybrid linebacker safety, he would be a great fit for one of them. If a team drafts him as a linebacker, he will have to get bigger and stronger and also develop his shed skills. Some teams may even look at him as a strong safety. He has experience at the position and easily has the speed and athleticism. Overall, he will be a “Wildcard” type pick in the draft. Some teams will have him very high on their board, others will have him rated lower. It will be interesting to see where he goes. Romeo Okwara – DE – Notre Dame Okwara is a fourth-year senior and a two-year starter at defensive end in a 4-3 front for Notre Dame. As a freshman he played only on special teams. As a sophomore he played as a reserve and was credited with 19 total tackles. In 2014 with a switch to a 4-3 scheme he was moved to defensive end and started 12 games. He has been a fulltime starter in 2015. He has 12.5 career sacks including 8.0 this year. Size – 6'4"– 260 – 4.78 (all estimates) Strong Points – Speed and athleticism. Came on strong the second half of this season. Flashes as an edge pass rusher. Has the required height and length. Has a frame that can carry 275 pounds. Plays well in pursuit, tackling. Weak Points – Currently lacks the bulk, strength and power to play strong at the point of attack. Inconsistent production especially in the run game. Can be slow off blocks and will give ground at times versus run blocks. Can be fooled by misdirection. Summation – It’s too bad this player wasn’t redshirted as a true freshman. He has really come on the second half of this season but still isn’t quite there. Right now he is best as a pass rusher but he still needs to get stronger and develop some more moves. He is not a consistent run down player and that is more because he lacks top size and power. Because of his athleticism, many of the 3-4 teams will work him out as an outside linebacker. If he proves he can drop into coverage he may have a future in that type scheme. In a 4-3, he will need a year on the practice squad to develop his skills and get bigger and stronger. There is no question he has talent but he is still raw. This player has upside in the right situation.