Humphrey is the best center prospect to come along in several years
Teams looking to improve the interior of their offensive line will have plenty of options at guard and center to choose from in the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft, including Creed Humphrey. Here's a look at what teams like and have some concerns about when it comes to taking a chance on the best center prospect in this year's draft.
(This profile is one of 230 featured in the Athlon Sports 2021 NFL Draft Guide. With in-depth scouting reports on the top prospects, position rankings, and more, no source will have you better prepared for draft day. Click here to get your copy.)
Creed Humphrey Draft Profile
The past two seasons, Humphrey established himself as the best center in the nation by a wide margin. As an athlete, he’s flexible, strong and savvy at the pivot, and his background as a wrestler shows in his toughness, competitiveness and understanding of leverage and hand usage. He’s one of the best in the country battling in a phone booth, a knee-bender who plays with leverage despite his length to go with plenty of power. He possesses the ability to snap-and-step without any wasted motion or loss of balance as he transitions to a blocker seamlessly. While his movement skills aren’t elite, they’re still good for his size; he shows the ability to get out on reach blocks and still anchor and wall off opposing defensive tackles. He has an innate feel for angles and dominates at the second level. In pass protection, he’s less natural but consistently shows the ability to recover when losing early in the down. Even as a freshman, he earned a reputation as a team leader. He earns high marks for football IQ and football character.
The NFL is stacked with interior pass rushers right now, and Humphrey could run into trouble if he doesn’t refine his hand usage when retreating in pass protection. He has relatively short arms considering his height and can have issues keeping opponents out of his chest.
He’s the best center prospect to come into the league since Alabama’s Ryan Kelly went 18th to the Colts in 2016. Humphrey is probably best suited for a gap/power type of scheme, but he is scheme versatile and will be a Day One starter wherever he lands, with a chance to emerge as a consistent Pro Bowler.
Final Grade: 2nd round