Creed Humphrey’s pro day performance was ‘like watching Frankenstein’

Oklahoma offensive lineman Creed Humphrey participates in the school's pro day workout for NFL scouts, Friday, March 12, 2021, in Norman, Okla. (Alonzo Adams/AP)

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Oklahoma offensive lineman Creed Humphrey participates in the school's pro day workout for NFL scouts, Friday, March 12, 2021, in Norman, Okla. (Alonzo Adams/AP)

Centers don’t get to show off their natural athleticism all too often.

Therefore, when Oklahoma center Creed Humphrey went through each of his pro day drills last Friday, those watching him virtually were astonished at the numbers he put up. He hit a vertical jump of 33 inches. His broad jump totaled 112 inches. He repped 225 pounds 29 times on the bench press. His three-cone drill was timed at 7.54 seconds. He posted a time of 4.46 seconds in the 5-10-5 shuttle.

All of those marks would have ranked in the top five of the 2020 NFL combine.

Even Humphrey’s 40-yard dash was good for an offensive lineman as he clocked in at 5.09 seconds.

For an interior lineman looking for a way to elevate his draft stock, Humphrey’s performance just might have accomplished that feat.

“At Oklahoma, I’m not asked to do a ton athletically. We’re a heavy gap scheme team,” Humphrey said. “I’m blocking back a ton. It was different for me to be able to go out there to show my athleticism. I was pretty happy with how I did. There were a couple of things I could’ve done better but I was pretty happy overall.”

Humphrey was already considered the top center in this year’s draft class. It will be interesting to see if his newfound status as a workout warrior could catapult him from a projected second-rounder to the latter part of the first round. Due to the NFL’s influx of quality pass-rushing defensive tackles, the market for good interior offensive linemen has greatly increased over the years.

Some of those who know Humphrey well were awestruck with what they witnessed Friday.

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Oklahoma offensive lineman Creed Humphrey's broad jump totaled 112 inches in the school's pro day workout for NFL scouts, Friday, March 12, 2021, in Norman, Okla. (Alonzo Adams/AP)

Credit: Alonzo Adams

Oklahoma offensive lineman Creed Humphrey's broad jump totaled 112 inches in the school's pro day workout for NFL scouts, Friday, March 12, 2021, in Norman, Okla. (Alonzo Adams/AP)

Credit: Alonzo Adams

Combined ShapeCaption
Oklahoma offensive lineman Creed Humphrey's broad jump totaled 112 inches in the school's pro day workout for NFL scouts, Friday, March 12, 2021, in Norman, Okla. (Alonzo Adams/AP)

Credit: Alonzo Adams

Credit: Alonzo Adams

“If you look at Creed, he can do stuff like a skill guy but he’s a 300 pound center,” defensive end Ronnie Perkins said. “But he’s probably more flexible than more skill guys. Watching him is like watching Frankenstein. He’s a freak really.”

Said Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley: “It’s pretty unique. Being in there, it was one of the more impressive individual pro day workouts I’ve seen. He’s a great athlete, he really is. … It’s kind of hard to believe he’s a center, honestly, when watching him.”

Oklahoma offensive tackle Adrian Ealy wasn’t too surprised with Humphrey’s outing, however. Having played with him on the line, Ealy figured Humphrey would put on a show.

“People don’t understand how explosive he is,” Ealy said. “The numbers he put up are really unbelievable for not just an offensive lineman but for his position (at center). Of course, I got a chance to show my athleticism getting out on some screens and whatnot. Creed didn’t get that chance. At the end of the day I knew coming in that Creed was going to put up some numbers. And he didn’t put up the numbers he really wanted to. The stuff he was mad about he didn’t get are still extreme numbers. He’s so explosive and athletic. Whatever team gets him is going to get a great one.”

Humphrey specifically said he slipped on his three-cone drill, noting his time could have been better.

Humphrey said he molds his game after three centers who retired in recent years — Travis Frederick, Maurkice Pouncey and Nick Mangold. He also noted his leadership traits make him an ideal candidate to be taken early, since he was voted to be a team captain by his peers over the past two years.

While Humphrey views himself as a center, he’s willing to play guard if the situation presents itself. The Falcons could use additional help on the offensive line, specifically at left guard since they recently released James Carpenter for reasons pertaining to the salary cap. Although Alex Mack, the Falcons’ center for the past five years, is expected to hit free agency, last year’s third-round pick Matt Hennessy was taken to fill that role in the long term.

However, with a new front office and coaching staff, ideas may be different in this area, which could open up possibilities to look at other options on the offensive line. Since accepting the job, Falcons coach Arthur Smith has stressed the certain style he wants to see up front.

“We have a certain standard we want to play,” Smith said. “We’re going to play physical and with great effort. I know a lot of people say that but that will be our hallmark. We’ll adapt to the personnel we have. Always dealing with different injuries and circumstances that pop up. We’ll be adaptable and adapt to whoever’s there.”

If the Falcons are interested in Humphrey, he still won’t be an option at fourth overall. Even if the Falcons trade back to the middle of the first round, the likelihood of taking an interior lineman in that range is slim to none. But with his pro day performance, coinciding with the tape he put together as a three-year starter at Oklahoma, Humphrey could be someone to keep an eye on if he’s available in the early second round at the 35th selection.

For those in attendance, Humphrey came off as someone even more impressive than anyone initially believed.

“It was good for me to show how athletic I actually am,” Humphrey said. “I think it probably caught a few people by surprise.”