Creed Humphrey
Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler (7) hugs offensive lineman Creed Humphrey (56) during Wednesday’s Cotton Bowl win. It was their final game together after Humphrey declared for the NFL draft one day later. Ian Maule, Tulsa World

Creed Humphrey is built like a brick shithouse. There’s a lot more to the former Oklahoma fan-favorite than that, but any conversation about him should start with the fact that he’s one of the most square-shaped human beings to ever live, which makes him perfect for the interior offensive line. 

Humphrey put his frame to good use during his 37 starts at center for the Sooners, as he helped anchor an offensive line that was among the best in college football throughout his time in Norman. Creed Humphrey is one of the best IOL prospects in this year’s draft and he has the potential to be a starter in the NFL for a long-time.

What Makes Creed Humphrey Stand Out?

Humphery is really strong, but more importantly, he knows exactly how to apply that strength on the field. He plays with sound technique and he has a tremendous sense of leverage. 

Plays like this one against Iowa State are all over Creed Humphery’s tape. He takes a good first step to seal off the 0-technique, he puts his right hand on his and when the nose guard ducks his head he punishes him for it. Humphrey’s ability to control the backside A-gap on power run plays was vital to the Sooners’ success on the ground.

Some have described Humphrey as a player that will only succeed in a gap-based run blocking scheme, but I don’t agree. Oklahoma ran a mix of zone-blocked run plays and gap-blocked run plays last season and Humphrey always looked comfortable. 

Here’s an example of Humphrey executing perfectly on a zone run play. While this isn’t the most difficult block in the world, Humphrey again displays excellent technique. He gets his left hand on the defensive tackle’s outside shoulder and he uses his elite lower body strength to drive him downfield. Humphrey would do well in a diverse run scheme at the next level.

Most analysts’ concerns with Humphrey stem from his perceived lack of athleticism, but he showed plenty of agility throughout his time at Oklahoma. 

On this play, Humphrey is again responsible for sealing off the backside A-gap, but this time he has to deal with a 5-technique defensive end. Humphrey is quick, opens his hips well and takes a good angle to cut off the defensive end before finishing the play with another pancake.

Another place where Humphrey’s athleticism shines through is his ability to get to the second level. When Humphrey gets his eyes on a linebacker it’s rare for him to miss his target. 

Humphrey made life hell for TCU’s linebackers during Oklahoma’s game against the Horned Frogs last season. On this quarterback draw, Humphrey gets to the second level quickly and makes the linebacker look helpless. Humphrey is a brutal finisher and it really shows when he gets a chance against a smaller defender.

Humphrey brings some violence to the second level later on in this game too, this time on a zone-rpo. Humphrey gets a great punch on the 2i, sending him flying, while on his way to the playside linebacker who he obliterates. Humphrey vs TCU’s #13 looked like a varsity starter vs a JV guy on the first day of hitting. 

This is all to say that Humphrey moves well, and I don’t think he has any physical limitations that will keep him from becoming a quality NFL player.

How Is He In Pass Protection?

Creed Humphrey was also strong in pass protection for the Sooners. He moved well side-to-side and anchored well against power while dealing with Big-12 defensive tackles. Here’s one of his better one-on-one pass blocking reps from last season.

Oklahoma is running a play-action pass where they are faking a power run so Humphrey is matched up one-on-one with the 3-technique lined up over the pulling guard. Humphrey has a good base, he gets his hands underneath the defender’s pads and absorbs the defensive tackle’s first attempt at a bull rush. Humphrey then gets to a nice toe-to-instep stagger as keeps his man in front of him before burying him with a nice final punch.

Humphrey’s best reps in pass protection came when he was asked to pick up a blitz or a stunt.

On this rep against Kansas State Humphrey does a really good job of flipping his hips in order to deal with the outside linebacker stunting inside. He maintains a really good base and he stops all of the defender’s forward momentum. 

Humphry did the same thing again against Texas. He knows that he’s responsible for the Mike linebacker if he blitzes so he does a good job of keeping his eyes up. When he sees the defensive end stunting inside he’s quick enough to get in his path and he has a strong enough base to stop him in his tracks.

High IQ plays like these ones are a big part of why I think Humphrey will work out in the NFL.

Potential Landing Spot

 Pittsburgh Steelers 2nd Round 55

If he’s still available, Humphrey would make a lot of sense for the Steelers. Pittsburgh needs to replace a long-time starter in Mike Pouncey and Humphrey is seasoned enough to start right away. 

Scheme-wise, Pittsburgh hasn’t been married to either a zone-based or gap-based run blocking scheme, making them a good fit for Humphrey. Pittsburgh’s run blocking left much to be desired in 2020, so Humphrey would be bringing some much-needed brute strength to the middle of the Steeler’s line.

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