In fact, the second-round center out of Oklahoma was just about as good as it gets during his rookie campaign. He started all 17 games and only allowed 12 quarterback pressures (three sacks) with a dominant run-blocking grade of 93.1 on Pro Football Focus.
Humphrey’s first-year performance ended up going down as the highest-graded rookie offensive season on PFF since 2014. Based on that, it’s no surprise the offensive lineman made their annual top 25 under 25 ranking.
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Humphrey Finishes 16th in PFF Rank
PFF produces the top 25 under 25 every offseason and this year analyst Trevor Sikkema had the honor of putting it together.
He explained: “The cut-off for this list is that the players need to still be under 25 years old when the season begins. That means A.J. Brown and Kyler Murray, among others, are out. This list is not in order of who you’d take in a re-draft, and though positional value does factor into the ranking some due to role requirements, it’s not the main component. This is more of an overall talent recognition and accomplishment list.”
Humphrey finished 16th, one spot behind edge rusher Brian Burns and just ahead of wide receiver CeeDee Lamb. Sikkema reasoned:
Humphrey’s rookie campaign was sensational. He played the most snaps of any rookie offensive lineman (1,184) and notched the best grade, too (91.4). In fact, his elite overall grade was fourth-highest for all offensive linemen and first among all centers. He and fellow rookie Trey Smith were a big reason the Kansas City Chiefs offensive line was as improved as it was in 2021. It was an incredible start to Humphrey’s career, especially considering he opted out of the 2020 college football season.
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Chargers Lead AFC West With 2 Selections
There are 32 teams in the NFL and only 25 slots in this ranking. By definition, at least seven teams won’t be represented. When you factor in that certain franchises employ more than one player on this list, it only adds to its exclusive nature.
Unlike most divisions, each team in the AFC West was represented, and the Los Angeles Chargers led the way with two elite building blocks under the age of 25.
The first is obvious — 24-year-old quarterback Justin Herbert. The talented signal-caller landed at No. 2 overall according to Sikkema, behind only Nick Bosa. The other was offensive tackle Rashawn Slater (No. 14), who was also a rookie in 2021 and is now 23 years of age.
Las Vegas and Denver each had one selection, like the Chiefs. The Raiders prospect placed higher at No. 12 overall, and was the fearsome pass rusher by the name of Maxx Crosby. Cornerback Patrick Surtain II represented the Broncos, coming in at No. 20.
It’s fair to mention that Kansas City guard and fellow 2021 draft pick Trey Smith did make an appearance as an honorable mention. The sixth-round gem started all 17 games next to Humphrey but was far less otherworldly as a rookie, with 57 pressures allowed (five sacks) and a run-blocking grade of 78.2.
Both should man the interior of KC’s offensive line for years to come.