Around this time last year, Wisconsin center Tyler Biadasz was widely considered the top interior offensive line prospect for the 2020 NFL Draft, but a pedestrian season led to him falling in April. Ultimately, Biadasz was selected in the fourth round by the Dallas Cowboys to replace the recently retired Pro Bowler Travis Frederick. Oklahoma’s Creed Humphrey is the best draft-eligible interior offensive lineman in 2021, but he will experience a different fate than that of Tyler Biadasz.
The 2021 NFL Draft class is loaded, featuring the likes of Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, and Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell as the headliners. When it comes to offensive line prospects, outside of Sewell, Creed Humphrey is the prize of the class. Humphrey is poised for an outstanding 2020 season and is the early odds-on favorite to win the Rimington Trophy, which is awarded to the player who is considered to be the best center in college football.
It came as quite the surprise that Humphrey decided to return to Oklahoma for his junior season, as he was a lock to be a top-20 selection in the 2020 NFL Draft. However, his return might just give the Sooners the best offensive line in college football, as all five starters from the unit return for the 2020 season.
What makes Humphrey the top interior offensive lineman in 2021?
Humphrey grew up in Shawnee, Oklahoma, and has Sooners football in his blood. As mentioned by ESPN’s Senior Writer Chris Low, “The only thing more intertwined in Humphrey family blood than Sooner football was wrestling. From the time Humphrey was four, he was on the mats.” That wrestling background is evident in his play, as one of his strongest traits is his ability to win with leverage.
Humphrey, standing 6’5″ and weighing 320 pounds, has ideal size for the position and brings a nasty temperament to the table. Humphrey, who earned first-team All-Big 12 honors last season, is a true technician, consistently displaying the fundamentals of the position. It surely doesn’t hurt that he has one of the best offensive line coaches in college football, Bill Bedenbaugh, working with him on a daily basis.
His best traits are his overwhelming power, his ability to play with a terrific pad level, and as mentioned above, his ability to win with leverage. Out of all of the 2021 offensive linemen, you’d be hard-pressed to find any that have the power that Humphrey possesses. He is built short and compact, so when he fires out of his stance and stays low, he can control his opposition with ease. His power at the point of attack is elite, as is his hand usage. His hand placement and ability to lock onto defenders is exceptional.
Also, Humphrey possesses good football intelligence, showcasing the ability to call out blitzes and make calls at the line of scrimmage. Humphrey excels in pass protection, utilizing his ability to absorb and discard pass rushers. In the running game, he is a people-mover, who uses his quick feet and power to obliterate defenders.
I mentioned Humphrey’s power. In the clip below, watch him squat over 500 pounds with ease.
There’s 52 days until the #Sooners kickoff their season…
and Creed Humphrey is going to need a bigger bar soon 😳😳 pic.twitter.com/HAtg6HoNB6
— Ruf / Writers (@OUupdatedSB) July 11, 2019
His ability to win with leverage and power is unparalleled. In the clip below, watch Humphrey (#56) anchor then pancake a West Virginia defender, which creates a huge running lane for running back Kennedy Brooks.
— Sooner Gridiron (@soonergridiron) November 24, 2018
In what might just be my favorite clip of Humphrey, you will see him work his way downfield, just looking for someone to hit. At the Baylor 45-yard line, Humphrey absolutely destroys a Baylor defender.
Rumble. Young Man. Rumble.
— Sooner Gridiron (@soonergridiron) September 29, 2018
When it comes to draft-eligible interior offensive lineman in the 2021 NFL Draft, Oklahoma’s Creed Humphrey is the total package. He is mean, country strong, technically sound, and effective. He is a great leader and true football junkie, which will earn him even more brownie points from NFL scouts. When it comes to the 2021 Draft, Humphrey is a surefire first-round prospect, who will likely hear his name called within the first 20 selections if he has a stellar 2020 campaign.
2021 NFL Draft: Interior Offensive Line Rankings
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