The workout numbers Oklahoma center Creed Humphrey posted at OU’s Pro Day on Friday were, at times, mind-bending.
“Man, watching him is like watching Frankenstein,” Sooners defensive end Ronnie Perkins said during a video press conference after the workouts. “He’s just a freak, really.”
“It’s pretty unique,” said head coach Lincoln Riley. “Being in there, it’s been one of the more impressive individual pro day workouts that I’ve seen.”
The 6-foot-4, 302-pound Humphrey’s least impressive number — the 5.09 seconds he ran in the 40-yard dash — still would have ranked 12th out of the 40 offensive linemen who ran the 40 at last year’s NFL Scouting Combine.
In every other discipline — the vertical jump (33 inches), the broad jump (112 inches), the bench press (29 reps), the 3-cone drill (7.54 seconds) and the 5-10-5 shuttle (4.46 seconds), Humphrey’s numbers Friday would have ranked in the top five among the 52 total offensive linemen who attended last year’s combine in Indianapolis.
His shuttle drill — which was faster Friday than OU defensive back Tre Norwood’s 4.50 — would have ranked first among all offensive linemen at the 2020 combine.
“Like, people don’t understand how explosive he is,” said offensive tackle Adrian Ealy, who also worked out for 31 NFL teams and 59 total team personnel on Friday. “The numbers that he put up today, it’s really unbelievable — not just for offensive linemen, but for his position.”
“He’s a great athlete. He really is,” Riley said. “You see a center vertical jump 33 inches, run and move the way he has, it’s kind of hard to believe he’s a center, honestly, watching him.”
To which, Humphrey laughed at a question about having played the wrong position for the last three years.
“Yeah, I was actually pushing for that quite a bit, looking for a screen pass,” Humphrey said. “But never got to it.”
He said his preparation at Michael Johnson Performance over the past few months has been focused on things like making a rabbit start in the 40, and adding resistance bands to his jumps to heighten his explosiveness. It all worked up to Friday.
“I was excited about it,” Humphrey said. “At Oklahoma, I’m not asked to do a ton athletically. We’re a heavy gap-scheme team. I’m blocking back a ton. So it was good for me to go out there and show my athleticism. I was pretty happy with how I did today. There were a couple things I could have done better, but I was pretty happy overall.”
Ealy explained why Humphrey doing what he did while playing the last three years as Oklahoma’s center is so remarkable.
“Like, I got a chance to show my athleticism being out on screens and what not,” Ealy said, “and Creed not getting that chance (at center). “But at the end of the day, I knew coming in here that Creed was gonna put up some numbers. And he was gonna put up some numbers that he really wanted to. You know?”
Perkins likened Humphrey’s workout to another recent combine freak: wide receiver Mississippi receiver D.K. Metcalf, who, at 6-3 and 229 pounds ran a 4.33 40 in 2019.
“If you look at Creed, he can do stuff like a skill guy, and he’s a he’s a 300-pound offensive lineman. He’s a 300-pound center,” Perkins said. “But, like, he’s probably more flexible than some of our skill guys.”
While Humphrey soared 33 inches in the vertical jump, running back Rhamondre Stevenson turned in a 31 1/2, Perkins jumped 32, Norwood went 33 1/2, and corner Tre Brown jumped 38.
On the bench press, while Humphrey knocked out 29 quick reps — and only Perkins (25) came close in Norman.
Humphrey’s bench reps would have ranked fifth at last year’s combine. His broad jump and vertical jump also would have ranked fifth. And his 3-cone time would have been third.
“He’s the strongest dude in the weight room, but he’s the most flexible dude out of all the linemen and most of the skill guys,” Perkins said. “What else can he do? He’s been the leader of the offensive line for the last three years. So just watching him as a man and as a player, I admire him a lot just because of the way he carries himself and the tools he possesses as a football player.”
The catchphrase after a performance like that is that Creed Humphrey made himself some money today. Riley explained precisely what that means.
“Centers have become more valuable in the last couple years,” Riley said. “You’ve seen more centers get drafted higher, and I think that’s a result of — you were to ask most people to name the top 10 defensive linemen in the league, a lot of ’em are inside guys. Arguably the best overall player in the league (Aaron Donald) is an inside guy. Not that centers or guards have ever been bad athletes at that level, but if you’re playing against some of the best, you’d better have your best in there too.
“So I think the price tag and the priority of getting really good interior offensive linemen has gone up in my opinion. And so I think a guy that’s a talent like his, I think he’s got a shot to be drafted really high and I think kind of the trend of the league will certainly help him with that.”
“Today,” Humphrey said, “was just about proving what I can do. I have a ton of film out there. Teams have a good idea what I can do. … So I really just looked at it as coming out here and having fun, moving around, having fun with it and I’m pretty happy overall with it.
“But yeah, it was good for me to go out here and show kind of how athletic I am. I definitely think I probably caught a few people by surprise.”