Bringing energy and a youthful punch for the second-team defense, rookie Su'a Cravens flashed his potential in the preseason opener against the Falcons.
It was a preseason game, but Redskins rookie Su'a Cravens wanted to make a good first impression in his NFL debut.
Cravens, the oft-talked about versatile USC product, entered the Redskins' preseason opener against the Atlanta Falcons along with Martrell Spaight on the defense's third appearance of the evening.
He would record three tackles on 24 snaps and showed the ability to cover sideline to sideline, active in both stopping the run and locking up receivers entering his domain.
"It was a good first game," Cravens said. "Definitely got the tweaks out of it being my first game, the crowd and things like that. I think I did pretty good during my first game, obviously I made a couple mistakes but overall I think I did alright."
Cravens' first defensive tackle came during the second quarter when he stopped Falcons running back Brandon Wilds for a two-yard loss. He would get a solid pop on the rookie out of South Carolina.
"I've been practicing against my teammates for the last couple months so I haven't really got to hit anybody," Cravens said. "So the first chance I got I wanted to make a statement, try to really take a hit out on them. Luckily I got him, he tried to jump over me and I didn't think he was going to do that."
Later on, Cravens would once again be a problem for Wilds, knocking a pass away that was intended for him.
"Just making a play on the ball," Cravens said. "They didn't block me, so obviously I felt there was going to be a screen behind me so I knew to get my hands up fast and luckily I got it."
With the 53rd pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins selected linebacker Su'a Cravens out of USC. Take a look at his collegiate career in photos.
Cravens play – even in limited action – impressed Redskins head coach Jay Gruden, although there will surely be areas that he needs to improve on moving forward.
"Looked like he was all over the place," Gruden said after the game. "I'm sure we will watch the tape and see he was placed he didn't need to be. We will get that figured out. Loved his energy, I wanted to see a lot of these young guys come in and play with a lot of energy. In practice, it is sometimes hard to tell if they are feeling their way through, but in a game, you can see it and it was a lot of fun to watch Su'a."
With his first NFL appearance out of the way, Cravens returns to Richmond, Va., to wrap up his first professional training camp.
The 6-foot-1, 222 pounder says his goal moving forward is to "get in shape" for the inside linebacker position, which the listed safety has taken all his reps at to date.
"Just be a little more physical," Cravens said. "Like I said, I'm a smaller guy out there so dealing with those O-linemen it kind of surprised me the first drive but I got used to [it]."