With All-Pro Corey Linsley signing with the Los Angeles Chargers in free agency, the Packers will have a new starting center for the first time since Linsley’s rookie season of 2014. Green Bay has three in-house candidates with its starting guards, Pro Bowler Elgton Jenkins and Lucas Patrick, and 2020 sixth-round pick Jake Hanson. Jenkins’ versatility might be too valuable to have him locked into center, and Hanson was not impressive during training camp.
Oklahoma’s Creed Humphrey is our No. 1-ranked center.
Oklahoma’s Creed Humphrey is big, strong and tough – three traits he brought with him from his hometown of Shawnee, Okla.
“He’s country-fed,” fellow center Jonathan Alvarez told the Tulsa World in 2018. “Corn-fed. It’s that big, natural strength. In the weight room and on the field, he does stuff that I probably couldn’t do my freshman year and I can do now. To see him do it, too, I’m like, ‘Wow, I wonder what he ate growing up?’”
From a young age, Humphrey feasted on whoever lined up across from him. His father, Chad, was a three-time All-American wrestler at Central Oklahoma. Creed started wrestling when he was 4.
“There's nothing like the mentality of a wrestler and learning how to use leverage as a wrestler transitions perfectly to football,” he told ESPN.com.
Moreover, he had a 4.0 GPA through high school. The last time he didn’t get an A?
“I’m not sure but I think it was in fifth grade in an English class,” he said during his senior year at Shawnee.
Humphrey started 37 games his final three seasons. In 2020, he was named the Big 12’s Offensive Lineman of the Year. He’s a two-time All-American.
“He has extreme talent,” Sooners coach Lincoln Riley said. “He’s a pretty rare talent for the position with combined competitiveness, toughness and a really good mind for the game. There are not many qualities for a center that he doesn’t have.”
Humphrey likely cemented his status as the top center in this year’s draft class at Oklahoma’s pro day. His results in the bench press, 20-yard shuttle, vertical jump and broad jump all would have ranked in the top five at the 2020 Scouting Combine. His shuttle time would have been No. 1.
“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 after OU’s pro day. “But he’s probably more flexible than more skill guys. Watching him is like watching Frankenstein. He’s a freak, really.”
If size, strength, toughness, intelligence and athleticism aren’t enough, he was voted a team captain by his peers his final two seasons.
“That’s something the players really saw in me and I’m thankful for doing that,” he said at OU’s pro day. “Leadership qualities then really just my football knowledge, understanding defensive philosophies, what teams want to do in certain situations, what teams want to do in different formations, things like that, but I would say that’s what really separates me from a lot of people in this draft.”
Measureables: 6-foot-4, 302 pounds, 32 1/2-inch arms. 5.11 40, 29 bench-press reps, 4.49 shuttle. Relative Athletic Scores, an athletic analytics system created by Kent Platte, take player measurements and put them on a 0-to-10 scale compared to their position group. Humphrey scored a perfect 10 and ranked first out of all centers dating to 1987.
Stats and accolades: According to Pro Football Focus, Humphrey didn’t allow a sack in his three seasons. In 2020, PFF charged him with zero sacks, zero hits and seven total pressures. Sports Info Solutions charged Humphrey with just three blown blocks (two runs, one pass) and two holding penalties. He was a second-team All-American in 2019 and a third-team choice in 2020.
NFL Draft Bible says: A competitive wrestler since the age of 4, Humphrey hails from a family of grapplers and it shows up on gameday with his exceptional hand combat. A stout anchor in pass protection and mauler in the run game, Humphrey is country strong, showing up as a freshman squatting 600-plus pounds. He has proven to be an exceptional pass blocker with excellent balance and outstanding leverage. The sky's the limit for Humphrey, who Sooners coach Lincoln Riley said is a dominant center that doesn’t come around very often.
About This Series
Packer Central is introducing you to the top prospects, both on and off the field, in this year’s NFL Draft. The series is starting with the top five at each position, then will add additional players as the draft approaches, with a focus on positions of need.