The New Orleans Saints continue to prepare for the NFL Draft, which is now just two short weeks away. Coach Sean Payton is hoping that some of the early selections will provide some quick help for the Saints this year, much like wide receiver Brandin Cooks did last season, and safety Kenny Vaccaro provided in 2013. While I’ve been an advocate of not drafting an offensive lineman in the first round, we look at a player that is likely going to be drafted on Day One, and would be an interesting thought if he slides to 31st.
Today, we highlight Florida Gators offensive tackle D.J. Humphries.
NFL Scouting Combine Measurements
Weight: 307 pounds
Arm Length: 33 5/8″
40-Yard Dash: 5.12 seconds
Bench Press: 26 Reps
Vertical Jump: 31.0 inches
Broad Jump: 104.0 inches
3-Cone Drill: 7.87 seconds
NFL Comparisons: D’Brickashaw Ferguson (NY Jets)
Projected Round: 1
"Strengths: Nasty play demeanor with legitimate toughness to his game. Plays through and past the whistle. Stays cranky. Into it all game long vs. LSU’s Danielle Hunter. Flexible hips and knees offer up leverage wins as run blocker. Gets down blocks secured and transitions quickly into second-level stalker with ability to mirror moving linebackers in space. As base-blocker, hustles feet into position and works to wall defender off. Has desired foot quickness combined with proper angles to be effective blocker on play side and back side on stretch plays. Gains good ground with kick slide and takes smart angles to cut off the edge. Rarely narrows base in run or pass game. Uses length to help cut off inside rush moves."
While playing in the SEC, D.J. Humphries faced a couple of edge rushers that will be drafted this year like Danielle Hunter (LSU) and Shane Ray (Mizzou). He also battled with Leonard Floyd (Georgia). Humphries is the type of fire on the offensive line you want to see, and just keeps going. He started at Florida as a true freshman, something rare, but not unheard of. After playing in ten games as a Junior, he declared for the NFL Draft this year. The largest concern with Humphries is his durability, missing eight games over his Sophomore and Junior season.
Where Humphries fits in with the Saints: Currently, the Saints are set at the left tackle position with Terron Armstead. For this reason, it makes it hard to see Humphries drafted at 31st or 44th overall. However, never say never. If there was a scenario where the Saints would consider flipping Humphries as a right tackle to eventually replace Zach Strief, then this could be a likely pairing. In my opinion, right tackle needs a little bit more beef.
Overall, I don’t see the Saints looking at Humphries. It would solely be a depth move, and there are other tackles later than could pair to the black and gold. Last year, we saw what a ‘project’ meant, as the team drafted Kansas State’s Tavon Rooks in the sixth round, only to release him.
So, why highlight him? Humphries is worth keeping an eye on, and I project him to a team like the Carolina Panthers. They’ll give him a heavy look to help protect Cam Newton, especially if Stanford’s Andrus Peat or Pittsburgh’s T.J. Clemmings are off the board.
You can see some of Humphries’ excellent blocking against Florida State.
More from Who Dat Dish
- 3 takeaways from Saints unofficial depth chart ahead of preseason opener
- Saints 2022 Training Camp: Top 5 takeaways from Day 13
- 3 things to know about new Saints QB K.J. Costello
- Kirk Merritt could be a difficult player for the Saints to cut
- Kareem Hunt is an interesting trade prospect but should Saints go for it?