2022 NFL Draft Profile: Wyoming C Keegan Cryder
Could the Cowboys’ longtime offensive line stalwart be a quietly valuable piece in the National Football League?
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Unheralded and talented in equal measure.
College football fans recognize that hiccups at the center position can spell disaster for offenses that aren’t careful, but it’s harder to see just how good players can be there when things are going smoothly or, in the case of the Wyoming Cowboys, when that unit scuffles.
Despite the larger issues Wyoming has dealt with over the last four years, stability at the point of attack wasn’t one of them thanks to Keegan Cryder. After being recognized as a Freshman All-American in 2018, Cryder appeared on the all-conference two-deep in each of the following three seasons, becoming the first Cowboys offensive lineman to accomplish that feat since Adam Goldberg did so in 2000-02.
Given Wyoming’s recent history of success in getting players selected in the NFL Draft, is Cryder being overlooked?
Measurables (taken from DraftScout.com)
Height – 6′ and 4 1/2″
Weight – 306 pounds
40-yard time – N/A
10-yard split time – N/A
Arm length – 33 1/8″
Hand size – 9 3/4″
Wingspan – 80 7/8″
Vertical jump – N/A
Broad jump – N/A
Shuttle time – N/A
3-cone drill time – N/A
Bench press – N/A
If you’re looking for a center with a track record of mistake-free play, you’d be very hard-pressed to find someone more proficient in that regard than Cryder. In Pro Football Focus’s look back at the most recent bowl season, it made note that Cryder had been called for just two penalties in over 2,000 snaps over the last three seasons.
As you might expect from a Wyoming offensive lineman, Cryder also gets it done when tasked with paving running lanes and getting to the second level. Venie Randy Soares of Turf Show Times provides more context for this by adding that he’s “more of a traditional drive blocker, but he moves well enough to run the wide zone” while PFF tabbed Cryder with a 88.2 run-blocking grade in 2021, the fourth-best figure among FBS centers.
One recent development that may hamper Cryder’s draft stock is a pectoral muscle injury that prevented him from participating in Wyoming’s pro day back in late March (though he’s preparing an individual showcase closer to draft day to rectify this). However, he started 44 consecutive games for Wyoming in his career, so the current hurt is definitely more an aberration.
Unlike other offensive line prospects in the Mountain West, Cryder doesn’t seem to be at a size disadvantage when compared to the players at the top of the center class — Iowa’s Tyler Linderbaum is actually undersized, in some draft analyst’s eyes, and he’s all but certain to be a first-round selection — another question that may need to be answered is how he’ll operate in an NFL offense that, for lack of a better term, will be more diverse than the ground-and-pound Wyoming offense.
One wrinkle that may help his standing is whether he can prove himself versatile, though Cryder hasn’t seen any extended playing time at anywhere but center since 2018, when he started four games at the two guard positions.
Center is a tricky position to gauge in this year’s draft because, outside of Linderbaum, there aren’t a lot of hot commodities. What Cryder lacks in flash he more than makes up for with technique, however, so while there’s the risk he could get squeezed out of the draft in a simple numbers game, I think it’s a little more likely that, much like former Wyoming center Chase Roullier, Cryder hears his name called near the end of Day 3, probably in the seventh round.