The Carolina Panthers are continuing to evaluate prospects ahead of the NFL Draft at the end of April. One player in particular has been on the team's radar and they have shown 'scary interest' in Su'a Cravens, according to Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net.
Cravens is an interesting prospect as he played a hybrid linebacker/safety while with the Trojans but many teams believes he could play solely safety in the NFL. This is a position of need for the Panthers with the team releasing Roman Harper earlier this season.
Craven played 40 games over three seasons for the Trojans, and finished with 207 total tackles, 34.5 tackles for a loss, nine interceptions and 16 passes defended. He also had 10.5 sacks over his final two seasons, playing more linebacker over that time span and closer to the line of scrimmage.
In Rob Rang's scouting report he describes Cravens as a fierce run defender by writing: "He's at his best attacking the run, showing excellent recognition and terrific closing speed on outside runs to slice past pulling linemen and lasso ballcarriers for big losses."
As a safety though his ability to defend the pass will be equally as important and Rang says his awareness stands out, "Cravens displays impressive route recognition, easing up and accelerating with would-be pass-catchers and showing natural hands for the interception when passers dare test him."
Scout ranks Cravens as the third best safety in this year's draft and it wouldn't be a surprise if he is the team's pick in the first round, especially if Pauline is accurately describing the Panthers' interest in the former USC Trojan.