The Denver Broncos traded for Su’a Cravens less than a year ago, and should not give up him yet. He can succeed in 2019 and beyond.
The Denver Broncos are not even a year removed from working on and completing a trade for safety/linebacker Su’a Cravens.
Cravens came to the Broncos after a year away from football in 2017. He had a stellar rookie season for the Washington Redskins in 2016, but struggled with the effects of injuries — specifically concussions/brain injuries — he’d suffered in the past.
Cravens didn’t appreciate how the Redskins treated him at all and was really public about how mistreated he felt.
When the Broncos traded for Cravens, he was elated.
The Broncos traded four draft picks for Cravens and a pair of draft picks, essentially giving the Redskins a fifth-round pick while moving down in the fourth and fifth rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft to acquire his services. The Broncos also gave Washington a conditional 2020 sixth-round pick in the trade.
After a tough year in Denver struggling through injury and battling rust, there have been some rumblings among fans and on Twitter that the Broncos should move on from Cravens.
In my opinion, that would be foolish and premature. I’ll give a few reasons why.
The first reason is, the Broncos acquired Cravens understanding he would probably be rusty. They traded for a guy they felt was a first-round player coming out of USC in 2016, but he’d been out of football for a full year and then some.
The Broncos also acquired Cravens knowing the type of person they were getting. There should have been no surprise there whatsoever.
Cravens also unfortunately had an injury that kept him out of training camp in 2018 and then limited him to just a handful of regular season games and a brief appearance in the preseason finale.
The Broncos thought enough of Cravens to make him an IR/return player, and when he returned, he struggled.
The question for everyone being so critical of his struggles is simple: What did you really expect?
This was a guy coming off of a year away from football, a training camp where he suffered a knee injury, and very few live reps. Of course he struggled a bit.
Does that mean you give up on him after five games? In my mind, absolutely not.
Cravens deserves a shot to prove he can work well with this new coaching staff and a coaching staff made up of some of the best defensive minds in football.
Cravens can find success in Denver, but everyone needs to afford him patience. Expecting him to be an overnight success, especially in a dysfunctional environment as far as last year’s coaching staff was concerned, was completely unreasonable.
Hopefully, Cravens can come in this offseason and prove he deserves a big role on this team.