It is pretty remarkable when a rookie is the tops of his position among other rookies in PFF Grade. It is even more remarkable when a rookie is at the absolute top of his position in the NFL in PFF Grade. Creed Humphrey has checked both those boxes for the Center position as an elite run blocker on a high end Kansas City Chiefs offense.
How did Humphrey get here? His journey to the NFL was not a typical one. He was a defensive lineman and center at Shawnee High School in Oklahoma. He was noticed pretty early and ended up the the 3rd ranked Center in the 2017 class, behind current New Orleans Saints Guard Cesar Ruiz.
Humphrey was highly recruited by the best schools in the country Alabama, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, and of course the Oklahoma Sooners. In June of 2016, Humphrey had committed to Texas A&M who were showing promise under 5th year head coach Kevin Sumlin. But, less than 2 months later, he switched his commitment to Oklahoma coming off a playoff birth under 17th year head coach Bob Stoops.
After redshirting, he started three straight years for the Sooners and was as consistent as it came to playing the offensive line. With plenty of zone rushing, Humphrey showcased power and strength which can be more difficult in that scheme. He could create interior holes nearly every play for solid yardage.
Humphrey was in competition for the top Center of the draft with Alabama’s Landon Dickerson. Dickerson had suffered a knee injury, but his career showcased his play against higher level talents. Humphrey did have one notch in his cap though, one of the greatest Combines for a Center in the history of the NFL.
Using my friend Kent Lee Platte’s database , Humphrey’s Relative Athletic Score was a perfect 10. Players are numbered between 1 and 10 depending on where they fall compared to others of the same position in the past and present. A perfect 10 means you are the best, most athletic at your position EVER. Humphrey got this with his elite explosion and speed scores. The only knock was being slight undersized by weight, but even that was in the Good range for NFL outcomes.
You would think this type of college success and testing success would lead to him being at least a Top 50 pick. But, no, he fell to the end of the 2nd round as the 3rd Center off the board, 67th overall to the Chiefs. Immediately their best Center, he started the season next to fellow rookie Trey Smith. From Game 1, Humphrey has looked like a seasoned veteran.
Though PFF isn’t the end all be all, it is as a good a gauge as we have for offensive lineman and grading effectiveness. He is the highest rated run blocking Center and best overall Center in the entire league this year. Humphrey is using that athletic ability to his advantage. The Chiefs got a steal, and it is showing.