The Washington Redskins have had an issue that has plagued the franchise since 2007. The team has not been able to fill the safety position since the death of star player Sean Taylor. It’s almost as if the ghost of Taylor looms large over the position, placing extra stress on whoever is cast in its role. The Redskins are a team that in the past was known for several wrong moves in free agency, but the team really did try to fill the safety spot, it just hasn’t worked.

Last year the Redskins decided they were going to move veteran DeAngelo Hall to safety over from cornerback in an attempt to prolong his career after a couple of injured seasons.

The move appeared to be somewhat successful until Hall was injured yet again. The Redskins also brought in veteran Donte Whitner and David Bruton, who both were failures that the team will not bring back in 2017.

Su’a Cravens is a special type of player

During the 2016 draft the Redskins selected a player with talent but no position in the second round. The player was Su’a Cravens and he spent his rookie season at linebacker for the Washington Redskins. Cravens announced at the end of the 2016 season that he would be making the move to safety in 2017, presumably strong safety considering his ability to play ‘in the box’ and around the line of scrimmage. Cravens will likely still also be used as a ‘nickel-back’ when the team shifts in and out of nickel and dime coverage.

What defensive coordinators fall in love with when it comes to Cravens is his unique skill-set of pass rushing skills paired with enough speed and strength to cover tight ends and receivers across the middle. There are only a handful of players in the league with those skills, including Cowboys safety Byron Jones and Cardinals safety Deonne Bucannon.

Cravens has much to learn in new role

Cravens will spend most of camp getting used to being in the secondary and learning the scheme, which is obviously quite different from what he learned as a linebacker in his rookie year. His athletic ability will carry him as he transitions into a position well suited for a guy once called ‘the next Troy Polamalu’, which are huge shoes for anyone to fill, let alone a 21-year old kid still learning the ropes.

Cravens, whose idol is the late Sean Taylor (he wears 36 in honor of Taylor), is ready for the challenges that lay ahead. “I think I can be a great safety,” said Cravens. “I proved I can cover tight ends pretty well last year. I think I can play well in the box and also cover the deep third.” Cravens also said that anyone who doubts he can make the transition is just fueling him with motivation to further succeed.

Below is a collection of Su'a Cravens highlights from the 2016 season.

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