Su'a Cravens, USC Trojans (October 8, 2015)

Su’a Cravens – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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2016 NFL Draft Prospects: December 30, 2015 Bowl Games

by Contributor Sy’56


#5 WR Ricardo Louis – 6’2/215

Fourth year senior that hadn’t been given much opportunity until this year. He still looks raw to me, which is typical of receivers that come from this kind of system. He has some tools to work with. Auburn gave him a lot of rushing attempts as well. He can be explosive with the ball in his hands. Best case he is a late rounder.

#8 LB Cassanova McKinzy – 6’3/253

Fourth year senior that has been moved all over the defense. Part of me thinks it has helped him appear more versatile to scouts while part of me thinks his growth as a player has been stunted by the constant movement of positions a la Mathias Kiwanuka. He’s been productive everywhere. I think McKinzy can be an elite 3-4 linebacker or an above average 4-3 linebacker. He is extremely powerful on the move. Very good blitzer and very effective in pursuit. He has the short area explosion to beat blockers to a spot and the strength to deliver violent hits. He misses too many tackles to be strictly a run defending linebacker. He could be a guy that changes to pass rusher on 3rd down. Versatile tool set here but he won’t work in every scheme. Coaches need to be careful with him. Day 2 guy.

#17 LB Kris Frost – 6’2/240

Fifth year senior. Two plus year starter. Has the triangle numbers that coaches want to work with. Second on the team in tackles. Appears to be a technician type, works hard to do things the right way. I think he lacks the natural feel for the position that I look for but he can hang around. There is untapped potential with him I think. 5th or 6th rounder that could at least be a good special teamer.

#3 CB Jonathan Jones – 5’10/181

Fourth year senior. A lot of fight in this undersized body. Jones can be beat by the bugger, more physical receivers routinely. He will be limited in the NFL when it comes to his role and position on the field. But this kid fights hard and can move with anyone. He has good body control underneath and always has another gear to catch up if need be. Very fast and agile. Jones gets his hands on a ton of balls. 23 pass breakups and 7 INTs over the past two years. Day 3 corner that could out perform several CBs drafted ahead of him.

#82 WR Melvin Ray 6’3/215
#6 DE DaVonte Lambert – 6’2/280
#24 FS Blake Countess – 5’10/185


*#12 QB Paxton Lynch – 6’7/245

Hasn’t declared yet but many expect him to be a top 5 pick if he does. He’s been a flavor of the month type. In a class that lacks the true no doubt prospect at QB, many have turned to Lynch as the guy with the highest upside. The body is there. The arm is there. The stats are there. The arm is there. He does have almost everything I want in a QB prospect. I question the accuracy though. I question his ability to read defenses quickly and efficiently from the pocket. I think he presents a much bigger risk than someone like Goff. I will say this though, Lynch is awfully similar to what we saw out of Ben Roethlisberger in 2004 when he came out of Miami (OH). If he comes out I would have a 2nd round grade on him but he would likely be a top 10 guy at worst.

#77 LT Taylor Fallin – 6’6/330

Fifth year senior. 3 plus year starter. Fallin has had a couple not so serious injuries over his career but all in all, he is a solid NFL prospect. I don’t think he projects to left tackle in the league. He looks like a guard to me. Just doesn’t keep his head up and feet moving out in space. He looks good when things are in front of him. Could be a really good run blocker but he can be beat by quality pass rushers. Day three guy but someone that could evolve in to a quality starter.

#87 WR Tevin Jones – 6’2/223

Fifth year senior. Won’t jump off the screen. Won’t stand out on the stat sheet. But Jones is one of my WR sleepers in this class. He has elite level ball skills. Built like a truck and shows precise route running ability. Jones didn’t get a ton of looks in this offense that loved to spread the ball around. He got the short end of the stick and in another offense, he could be a bigger name. Also a very good special teams defender which is important for late round WRs. I like this kid as a day three gamble.

#5 WR Mose Frazier – 5’11/190

Fifth year senior that initially walked on after playing at Arkansas Pine-Bluff. Led the team in catches each of the past two years. Slot receiver type that has dynamic speed and agility. Can be a nice underneath weapon for someone. He may run sub 4.4 at the combine and/or Pro Day. He doesn’t factor downfield too much and struggles to get the ball in traffic, but in space he can be a threat. Day three guy here.

Other Notables:

#40 TE Alan Cross – 6’1/235
#53 LB Leonard Pegues – 5’11/243



#54 LT Joe Thuney – 6’5/295

Fifth year senior. Versatile guy that has seen plenty of action at RT, LG, and LT. Solid and strong presence. Can anchor against the bigger defenders and showed good footwork on the edge this year. I think he projects inside at the next level. Has starter potential down the road. 4th or 5th rounder.

#12 QB Jacoby Brissett – 6’4/231

Fifth year senior that started off at Florida. Dual threat that is still a pass first, run second kind of guy. Good decision maker from the pocket, protects the ball and avoids the head scratchers. Solid game manager type. Brissett has average arm strength but consistent accuracy. I think he can stick somewhere as a backup for a few years at the very least. You can work with a guy like this. Day three prospect.

#90 DE Mike Rose – 6’3/252

Fifth year senior. Leader of the defense. Ton of experience. Rose lost about 15 pounds prior to the 2015 season and it made a huge difference. He showed some signs of being a top tier pass rusher this season. Very refined from a technical standpoint. Strong hands, light feet. He finished 2nd in the ACC with 10.5 sacks this year. He faced off against some future NFL OL this year and he simply looked better than those guys. Rose won’t be a household name but I am confident you’ll know who he is in a couple years.

#11 CB Justin Burris – 6’0/207

Fifth year senior. Four year starter. Not a speed and quickness guy but Burris fits the mold of corners that have the size and length to alter guys at the point of attack and throw off the timing of what offenses want to do. Burris has some nice tape against his toughest competition this year. There is some sleeper potential here. Late rounder.

Other Notables:

#71 LG Alex Barr – 6’8/318
#60 C Quinton Schooley – 6’2/299
#1 SS Hakim Jones – 6’2/206


#15 QB Dak Prescott – 6’2/230

Fifth year senior. Almost came out last year, wisely chose to return for his senior season and he did everything scouts said he needed to do. He cleaned up his mechanics. He showed better decision making from the pocket. He cut down on turnovers. Prescott is going to be a favorite among some NFL coaches. He has the talent. All American and 1st Team All SEC in 2015. Prescott changed the Miss State program in his five years there. He can handle the leadership role and all that goes with it. Top tier kid on and off the field. In a year where the QB rankings will be different all over the league, I still see Prescott as an option for being the first one taken.

*#1 WR De’Runnya Wilson – 6’5/220

Third year junior. Haven’t been told he’s coming out but he may choose to after a couple of strong years and Prescott leaving school. Wilson is a matchup problem. Very tall and long but has some bulk to him as well. I don’t think he completely understands how to use his body yet but there is an upside here that coaches will want to work with. When he attacks the ball, he can get to it before any DB. Lacks the top end speed and there is some developing coordination going on with him still so there is a risk here. Maybe a 3rd rounder.

#70 LG Justin Malone – 6’7/320

Fifth year senior. Missed 2013 season with a foot injury. Has been a 3+ year starter. Bug and physical guy with a great wingspan. Hard guy to get around. Plays with good knee for a guy this big. There is a lot to work with here. I’ve been told there may be something chronic going on with that foot so he will need some extra medical screening but he has an upside you want out of a day three pick. Already has some NFL ready traits to him.

#23 CB Taveze Calhoun – 6’1/180

Fifth year senior and 3 year starter. Long and lengthy cover man that has the quick turnaround speed to stick with speed downfield. Has always been a good ball skill guy. Can get his hands on a lot of passes. I’ve seen games where QBs don’t throw his way for an entire half. Calhoun has the ability to start in the NFL. If he was more physical he could be a 2nd rounder. As of now I have him around 100 overall type.



*#74 OT Germain Ifedi – 6’6/335

Fourth year junior. Not sure if he is coming out or not. Some said he would be the next 1st round caliber OL to come out. He hasn’t lived up to expectations but there is a definite upside. He has tools, namely size and natural power. He can stifle the strongest of defenders with his long arms. He has the feet of a right tackle though, not the left side. There are some legit concerns about his work ethic and desire to get better. Conditioning has been an issue since day one for him and even watching his film now, it’s easy to notice how deflated he gets late in games and drives respectively. He could be a day 2 guy if a coach sees the upside but more likely a 4th or 5th round grade.

#5 RB Tra Carson – 6’0/235

Fifth year senior that started off at Oregon and sat out 2013 after transferring. Led the Aggies in rushing the past two years respectively. Bruiser with some long speed if he can reach the open field. I think he has some interesting upside. Catches well. Blocks well. Wasn’t in the best offense for his abilities. Day three back that could easily factor early in his career at the next level.

#56 C Mike Matthews – 6’2/290

Fourth year senior. Three year starter. The next Matthews in line, this family has been in the NFL for years and it is worth something. Matthews is a tad undersized but big enough for center in the NFL. Technician with good footwork. Mechanics are always on. Smarts are always on. Excels blocking at the second level. Maybe an eventual starter once he can gain some man strength.

#1 CB De’Vante Harris – 5’11/185

Fourth year senior with a ton of experience. Solid cover man that lacks a physical side. Doesn’t track the ball well downfield, may be best with things in front of him. Day three guy.

Other Notables:

#83 DT Alonzo Williams – 6’4/305
#95 Julien Obioha – 6’4/280


#98 DT Sheldon Rankins – 6’2/303

Fourth year senior. Broke out in his first year as a starter in 2014 with 8 sacks and 13.5 TFL. Added another 6 sacks and 12 TFL in 2015. Rankins is very stout and very active. These are the kind of DTs I really like. They are tough to block because they can play with a really low center of gravity and there is enough athletic ability to out-maneuver blockers. He is very well developed physically and mechanically. May not be a top tier prospect but I bet he contributes early in his career and out performs several DL that are drafted ahead of him.

*#25 SS Josh Harvey-Clemons – 6’5/230

Fourth year junior that played 2 years at Georgia. I need to see more of him, I’ve only seen him in passing. Someone I trust told me this kid has some Chancellor in him which is some high praise. We’ll see. I don’t have an evaluation on him yet.

*#92 DE Devonte Fields – 6’4/245

Big 12 Freshman of the Year at TCU in 2012. He wasn’t coachable and had some issues off the field, was eventually dismissed from the program. Spent a year at Community College and is now here. Had a nice year. 8.5 sacks and 19.5 TFL. Reports are he matured and there are no issues off the field and he’s been a saint with this coaching staff. Has the first step burst and bendability that coaches want. He has another year left if he wants it, but I’ve been told he has the NFL in his scope. If he checks off the field well, he can be a day two guy that fits best in the 3-4 schemes.

#13 LB James Burgess – 6’1/228

Fourth year senior and 3 plus year starter. Speed and explosion is his game. Very fast to react and will often beat blockers to a spot. Wrap up tackler that delivers violent blows. He can cover well. True three down linebacker that needs to be in space to be most effective. Won’t thrive in traffic. Top 100 guy for sure.

Other Notables:

#78 RT Aaron Epps – 6’7/288
#44 Pio Vatuvei – 6’2/296



#6 QB Cody Kessler – 6’1/215

3 year starter. Enters the bowl game with 87 TDs/18 INTs over his career. He was my favorite senior QB coming in to this season and he still is. He played in a pro-style offense with a ton of pre-snap responsibility. He’s been making NFL-caliber reads. The learning curve with him will be a lot less than some of these guys coming from the shotgun-only, spread offenses. I like Kessler under pressure. He hosts a quick release and accuracy. He’s tough in the pocket. There is a height issue and an arm power issue. He doesn’t drive the ball downfield and I don’t think even he has the confidence throwing to the far sidelines. He may be limited physically. The comparison I have always seen with him is Drew Brees. A guy that can absolutely thrive in the right system with the right coach. But he’s not a guy that succeed anywhere. 2nd or 3rd round is possible but round 4 or 5 is more likely.

*#21 LB Su’a Cravens – 6’1/225

Third year junior, third year starter. Has been a stud from day one. Safety/Linebacker hybrid that was mainly at LB in 2015. I think that is where his future is in the NFL unless someone can find a Kam Chancellor role for him. He isn’t as good though. Cravens lines up all over the field. It seems like they just tell him to attack the action. He is constantly around the ball. Very fast and decisive, consistently reaching the ball carrier before a blocker even has an opportunity to get his hands on. Cravens is more than an athlete. He is very smart and aware, very mechanical as a tackler. If he can pack just a little bit of weight on without losing speed, he could be a star in the NFL. A true 3 down linebacker that can cover, rush the passer, and defend the run at a high level respectively. I think he deserves a 1st round grade for most schemes.

#99 DT Antwuan Woods – 6’1/320

Fifth year senior. Has been a solid contributor for four seasons. Initially comes across as a one dimensional run stuffer but he has move movement ability than you think. He plays real hard. Always wins the leverage battle. Tremendous lower body strength. He can be an immediate contributor to a team that needs a run stuffer. Day three guy but one that will out perform several guys drafted ahead of him.

#52 DT Delvon Simmons – 6’5/295

Started off at Texas Tech for two years, sat out 2013 because of the transfer. I think he is a very good 3-4 DE prospect. He can overpower guys, just a country strong kind of kid. Doesn’t get moved. There is some quick twitch to him as well, he can react well and get off blocks. There is some interesting upside here. Day three guy.

Other Notables:

#23 RB Tre Madden – 6’1/223
#31 FB Soma Vainuku – 6’0/255
#56 LB Anthony Sarao – 6’0/235
#93 DE Greg Towsend – 6’3/275


#61 LT Tyler Marz – 6’7/325

Fifth year senior and three year starter. Very solid technician here. I remember watching him in 2014 thinking he would be a potential early declaration. I loved his consistent approach to defenders. Excellent body control. Easy hand power. The more I have watched however, the more holes I see. Marz may not be a good enough athlete for the left side. He doesn’t bend very well either. Good speed rushers with good leverage will eat him up. Drew Ott, DE from Iowa, absolutely dominated him this year. It was an ugly performance for Marz especially considering Ott is the kind of DE that Marz should thrive against. I am now thinking he may need a move inside. 3rd or 4th rounder.

#38 LB Joe Schobert – 6’2/236

Fourth year senior. Has had 32 TFL over past two years. Schobert isn’t your traditional Wisconsin linebacker. He excels in space and has plenty of long speed to him. He can play well against the fastest offenses in football. Very savvy as a blitzer off the edge. Takes the proper angles and will finish plays. Schobert struggles to perform in traffic. Good blockers can lock him up. He may need to be a weak side guy in a 4-3 so he can track plays from behind. Very good in pursuit but not so much when the action comes at him. 4th or 5th rounder.

#7 S Michael Caputo – 6’1/206

Fifth year senior. We are all looking for the next Jum Leohnard, some say this is the kid. He’s made a few All American teams over the past two years. Excels in space tackling, a lost art among defensive backs these days. Nice guy to have out there for that reason alone. Savvy in coverage but there is some stiffness to him. Won’t make a ton of plays in coverage. Could be a solid special teamer and backup for both safety positions. Day three guy.

Other Notables:

#86 WR Alex Erickson – 6’0/197
#2 Joel Stave – 6’5/219
#3 S/WR Tanner McEvoy – 6’6/231
#5 CB Darius Hilary – 5’11/187