ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – The Denver Broncos pass rush should be a weapon with plenty of versatility in 2018. Between Bradley Chubb and impressive undrafted free agent Jeff Holland, there will be lots of new faces, but one you might not expect is another new addition in hybrid linebacker-safety Su’a Cravens. 

With Shane Ray out for the time being and the Broncos trying to use as many rushers at a time in exotic looks that can confuse their opponents, Cravens’ ability to rush the passer and impact the game as a blitzer might prove to be a real plus for the Orange and Blue this season. 

“I’d say blitzing,” said Cravens when I asked him what his best skill is. “I don’t think people understand or don’t think that I can blitz. I got a lot of time in practice at USC, so I’m excited to show that.” 

We highlighted Cravens versatility when he was first acquired by the Broncos this offseason, and that versatility has already shown itself in OTAs and minicamps. 

He spoke to BSN Denver about how he’s being used in a variety of ways on the last day of minicamps, prior to the team taking a break before training camp starts in roughly six weeks.

“They’ve been using me a little bit of everywhere, they’ve been blitzing me, they’ve been putting me in with the linebackers covering tight ends and running backs, and then back deep, playing the deep third. So whatever they need me to do I’m ready to do it.”

On a day in which the Broncos new No. 21 had himself a pick and a pass break up, we wanted to look at the impact Cravens can have as a blitzer. 

The evaluation we’ve done on Cravens, both with the Washington Redskins and back in college at USC, jives with Su’a’s assessment that his ability as a blitzer is his best skill. Which shouldn’t come as a surprise, given his productivity wrecking backfields as a Trojan, wracking up 32 tackles for a loss and 10.5 sacks in his final two seasons in So Cal.

After evaluating the back end of the defense last week, here’s how the ultra-versatile Cravens can impact the game as a blitzer both against the run and pass. 

Not a Subscriber? Start FREE today!

Login for Subscribers

Andre Simone
Author

Andre B. Simone, was born in Boulder, Colorado raised in Milan, Italy and is the draft and film analyst for BSNDenver.com. Education:  Graduated in communications with an emphasis in media, and double minored in journalism and philosophy at Western State University of Colorado. Career: I got back into media and worked briefly for the NPR affiliate up in Crested Butte, CO. I then starter working on a podcast for an Italian website on American sports which eventually became three weekly shows. We soon became the only podcast that featured player interviews, had prospect endorsements for our draft podcast, and am sure I was the only international media member credentialed at various pro-days I attended. In that period I became one of two media members from Italy to become part of the FWAA. At BSN Denver I started doing film rooms which have since caught on in several sports and got picked up by Bleacher Report and the Denver Broncos website. Our draft coverage has quickly become the standard bearer for the area. I was tasked with launching BSN ATS, in short time ironing out two metrics that have been close to identical to the methodology Las Vegas uses to generate their weekly NFL spreads. I covered the Colorado Rapids’ magical run to the Western Conference playoffs in 2016 after adding maybe the greatest American soccer player of all time in Tim Howard. My career highlight is probably following the Colorado Buffaloes magical 2016 “Rise” to Pac-12 south champions, attending their final five home-games, and following their top NFL prospects throughout the process. That offseason I also discovered Austin Ekeler one of the best stories of that draft and a true revelation as an NFL standout. I was the only media member to go out on a limb and say he was a legitimate NFL prospect, he’s proved me right in a short amount of time. Most memorable sports moment: Seeing the greatest comeback in Nebraska football history in Lincoln while cheering from the visitors side for Ohio State in 2011. The atmosphere in that stadium was beyond anything I’ve ever felt, including European soccer rivalries that can be pretty intense. The finest sports book I’ve ever read: This might have to be a tie between Terry Frei’s '77: Denver, The Broncos, and a Coming of Age. and Our Adrian Dater’s ‘Blood Feud…’ Both books have been crucial in my career path, AD’s book actually planted the seed for me doing this. Those 77 Broncos are an unbelievable team, I love that story and how it connects to the roots of the city. I read both books in a really important developmental period personally, they hold a special place in my heart. One sports movie that I can’t live without: Growing up in Italy any American sports movies in our house where true gold. Remember The Titans, Space Jam, Angles in the Outfield, and Jerry McGuire all were played in the VHS without end at different periods. But I’m not a fiction guy, my favorite sports movies are almost all documentaries now, my favorite being “Once Brothers” the 30-for-30 on Drazen Petrovic’s rise as Yugoslavia fell. It gets me every time as it’s just my movie; with 90’s hoops, Euro basketball, and the right amount of nostalgia. Most memorable experience as a reporter: Sitting down with Austin Ekeler, hearing his journey and knowing right then and there the kind of story I had uncovered was a pretty exhilarating experience. He’d never done that kind of thing before so he was an open book, we talked for an hour, he gave all sorts of insights, we related on many levels, it was a treat to meet someone who loves football that much. The sport that started it all: I played soccer and tennis growing up always following sports obsessively. What really took things to the next level was basketball which I picked up starting high school, I practiced all the time, joined the team, and played all four years. We were terrible but a great group of friends who are still close today. I struggled reading as a youngster and Slam magazine is where my love for reading really took off too. Maybe more than any basket I ever mad that’s the greatest thing hoops gave me