Birthday: August 22, 1980
Strengths: Keyuo Craver is the latest in a long line of great Nebraska cornerbacks. And with 23 starts under his belt prior to the start of the 2001 season, he has experience to match his God-given talents. Craver has nice size, excellent cover skills (he’s broken up 11 passes so far this year, giving him 39 for his career, second all-time in school history) and a knack for making big plays.
Last year, he recorded 6 tackles behind the line of scrimmage and 2.5 sacks. He’s also blocked four punts in his career and recovered two for scores. Craver is an excellent tackler and tough-as-nails competitor.
In addition to football, Craver, who runs a nice, but by no means spectacular, 4.56/40, also competes for the Cornhusker track team in the triple jump. So he obviously has some ups, as well.
Areas of concern: Craver lacks the kind of instincts you want in your corner — he will bite on pump fakes or get lost on a move from his man, but has great recovery speed and rarely gives up the big play. And while he does have a knack for making big plays, he doesn’t make many in coverage. He didn’t have an interception last year at all, though that was due in part to so many teams throwing to the opposite side of the field, and had only four for his career through last year.
An excellent man-to-man corner, Craver does lack ideal NFL size, though he certainly doesn’t play small. He gets up on his man, he tackles well and can lay down the big hit.
Is he sponge-worthy?: TFY Preview thinks Craver has the skills to become the best corner from Lincoln in the past 15 years, which is high praise indeed. True, he’s on the small side at a time when corners are getting bigger, but he’s just as dynamic and physical as guys like Quentin Jammer and Mike Rumph, simply unafraid to stick in his nose into the middle of the action.
There’s a chance the transplanted Texan could be a Texan, but it will depend greatly on his 2001 performance. Prior to this year, Craver was a possible early second rounder, maybe even a late first rounder, but right now, he’s playing well enough to likely be a no-doubt-about-it first round selection.
As long as Craver keeps up his fine play, the Texans will never have a shot at him — he’s not first-pick good, but is good enough to be gone by the time Houston’s on the board with their second pick.
Keyuo Craver Return to The War Room
Huskers Are Hoping For Big Returns Husker Press Box reports on Nebraska’s search for a competent return man, beginning with Keyou Craver.