ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — When Su’a Cravens’ name surfaced on the trade block during the 2018 NFL Combine, he knew teams had varying reasons for their interest.
Some, he said, weren’t fully interested in the way the former second-round draft pick could make an impact for their team. Instead, these teams just wanted to keep Cravens away from division rivals.
But that wasn’t the case with Denver, Cravens said Monday at his introductory press conference.
“When it came to the Broncos, it just felt like, ‘Nah, we want him. We want him here. He has a role that he can come in here and play,’” Cravens said. “And that’s all I’ve been looking for: a place where they want me.”
His new teammates made sure he felt that soon after the trade was finalized. Will Parks, a longtime friend of Cravens, was just one of several teammates to reach out.
Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller was another.
“Von Miller reached out to me, so that was pretty cool seeing him reach out. I didn’t expect that. He’s busy catching hammerhead sharks,” said Cravens, referencing Miller’s Instagram story from the weekend. “I’ve talked to a lot of guys on the team, so there won’t be any strangers.”
He joins a unit led by players like former All-Pros Miller and Chris Harris Jr., and as he explained Monday, he already knows the rest of the Broncos’ defense by reputation.
“If you love football and you like to watch a defense that flies around, you watch the Broncos,” Cravens said. “From what I’ve seen last year and the few years previous to that, they play hard. Everybody flies to the ball. It seems like everybody has fun. I want to be part of the atmosphere that’s energetic and guys that … just want to win no matter how they get it done. I feel like that’s what they have here.”
With Cravens, the Broncos now have another piece in their attempt to get back to that type of winning football.
And that’s far from President of Football Operations/General Manager John Elway’s only move from the last few weeks. On the defensive side of the football, Elway also re-signed linebacker Todd Davis and added cornerback Tramaine Brock and defensive lineman Clinton McDonald.
Those moves weren’t lost on Cravens, either.
“I think they’re building a culture here,” Cravens said. “I think they’re going in the right direction. They’ve made a lot of moves, and I think you can’t be successful without a solid defense.”
The former USC product pointed to Jacksonville’s 2017 season as a blueprint for how a strong defense can lead to postseason success.
Denver’s run to Super Bowl 50 provides an even better one.
And as Cravens looks forward toward his new opportunity with his new team, he seems to see similar success ahead.
“I think we have something like [Jacksonville’s defense] brewing here,” Cravens said. “As long as we buy in and we play all together, it will be good.”