Chiefs rookie Creed Humphrey grades out as NFL’s top center through Week 5

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Nobody has been a better anchor in the middle of their team’s offensive line than Kansas City Chiefs’ center Creed Humphrey, a second-round pick and first-year starter in 2021. Humphrey’s presence has brought a steadiness that has buoyed the offense amid struggles that have kept the Chiefs from reaching their full potential.

According to Pro Football Focus, Humphrey has allowed just two pressures so far this season, with one sack that has been the only blemish in his first-year campaign to this point. Starting beside fellow rookie and highly accomplished collegiate guard Trey Smith, the interior of the line has been a strong point not only for the offense, but also for the Chiefs team as a whole.

A strong 87.1 overall grade from Pro Football Focus puts Humphrey alone at the top of their rankings for centers with at least 300 snaps by a relatively wide margin. Their second-best grade (82.8) was given to three-time All-Pro lineman Jason Kelce, brother of Chiefs’ tight end Travis Kelce. Third place goes to 2020 All-Pro selection and new Los Angeles Chargers center Corey Linsley at 78.7.

Humphrey’s pass-blocking grade leaves him plenty of room for improvement, clocking in at a cool 69.0 overall grade. However, his marks in run blocking make him one of the best road graders in the league, registering at 91.7 through five games. When Kansas City drafted him in the second round of April’s draft, much was expected of the Oklahoma product in their effort to rebuild their shaky offensive line, but none could have predicted the investment would pay off this much this soon.

Protecting MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes has been one of the Chiefs’ top priorities after inking him to a contract worth a half-billion dollars. So far in 2021, they’ve made good on their commitment to keeping him upright. Humphrey has done his part too, allowing just two pressures on the season.

With more time for Humphrey to gel with his teammates up front and a chip on the team’s shoulder after a paltry 2-3 start, Kansas City should play to their strengths on the interior of the offensive line to find success in Washington this week.

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