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2021 NFL Draft Scouting Spotlight: Oklahoma C Creed Humphrey

A three-year starter with a wrestling background. Check and check.

The 2020 Buffalo Bills had to be proud of their offensive line, which kept Josh Allen upright But there’s always room for improvement. To that end, it wouldn’t be shocking if the Bills used the 2021 NFL Draft to add rookie reinforcements with a plan to upgrade. One player who’s probably been on the radar for years is Oklahoma center Creed Humphrey. The former teammate of Bills guard Cody Ford is now entering the draft himself. Would he be worth a pick in the first round? Here’s the report:


Creed Humphrey (Oklahoma) Scouting Report

  • Measurables: 6’4” 302 lbs
  • Career stats: 39 games played, 37 starts, did not allow a sack in 2019 or 2020 according to PFF
  • Year: Redshirt Junior
  • Pro day testing: 5.11 40-yard dash, 33” vertical jump, 112” broad jump, 7.50 three-cone drill, 4.49 short shuttle, 29 bench press reps

Summary

Creed Humphrey grew up in an Oklahoma Sooners family, and heads to the NFL having made his mark on the program. The three-year starter, and two-time Big-12 offensive lineman of the year was a key leader on one of the top football teams in the nation from 2018 to 2020. There might be a bit of prospect fatigue with Humphrey, whose most impressive work was probably as a redshirt freshman. The 2018 Sooners finished 12-2, with the offensive line being awarded as the best unit in FBS with the Joe Moore Award. Humphrey was the pivot who held it al together.

Humphrey is an extremely solid center prospect, an 8/10 type across the board. He does great work with his hand fighting and strength, thanks to a background in wrestling and in the weight room. He’s balanced and a good mover all around. He can work one-on-one and hold his own, or team up on combo blocks and advance to the second level. That said, there are no “amazing” traits that pop on film. He’s not a dominant run blocker, and can lose anchor against powerful or speedy defenders with a low pad level. He’s a good mover, but it’s not an outstanding trait like it was for other offensive line prospects. With Humphrey, you’re getting a player who should definitely start early in his career, and betting on his character and experience that he can become even better as a professional.

Strengths

  • Powerful punch shakes up defensive linemen
  • Great work with angles to turn linemen aside, even on more challenging reach blocks
  • Solid anchoring and knee bend
  • Great mobility on pulls and zone blocks
  • Elite athletic testing for an NFL center prospect
  • Has a wrestling background that dates back to when he was four years old
  • Three year starter and two-time captain for one of the most esteemed programs in college football

Weaknesses

  • Average vision for detecting free rushers
  • Has difficulty squaring up for blocks in space
  • Didn’t demonstrate much ability to bulldoze defenders in the running game
  • Left-handed snapper, which can be unfamiliar for QBs under center

Draft projection: Late first round to second round


Why he fits the Bills

The Bills have telegraphed a desire to keep upgrading their (already solid) offensive line. High-paid center Mitch Morse could be one concussion away from retirement, they thought Jon Feliciano could be a leader in the group but only signed him to a modest contract extension, and injuries may prevent Cody Ford from being the alpha dog they were expecting. So there’s no need for a starter this year, but a talented player could still earn a starting job, or become a starter in year two.

Humphrey could be a great candidate for the Eric Wood treatment: start him, a natural center, at guard for a year or two with an established center in place. Once he’s acclimated to the physicality of the NFL and absorbed some knowledge about protection calls, promote him to starting center. Though all of his career starts were at center, Humphrey practiced at guard in the Senior Bowl. His experience, athleticism, and wrestling background are all positive traits. He’s not an elite center prospect, which is why he could be available at the end of the first round, but he’s a safe bet to start in the NFL before long.