DJ Humphries has been selected by the Arizona Cardinals with the 24th overall pick. He’s the second player to be taken in the first round tonight, after Dante Fowler went #3 overall to the Jaguars. The selections of this Florida duo makes 48 Gators to be selected in the NFL Draft’s first round, and 13 since 2007.
Humphries was a surprise entry to the NFL Draft because of his size, but he’s got tons of natural ability. If he can bulk up some, he could be the steal of the NFL Draft. He’s already gained some muscle since the end of his playing days, measuring in at the NFL Combine at 6’5, 307, and if he keeps it up he could be an ideal size for a rookie lineman by fall camps.
Humphries got a tough challenge from Missouri DE Shane Ray (who was selected one pick ahead of him, #23 overall to the Broncos) but other than that, he pretty much dominated every defensive lineman he faced. He brings an incredible blend of natural athleticism with near perfect technique that makes him very hard to beat. In pass protection, he’s very patient in his stance, and can then deliver a solid punch to the defender that he doesn’t see coming. And in the run game, he’s outstanding, because he’s nasty and strong and gets to use his natural athleticism more by simply exploding off the snap and into his defender.
I think Humphries can be a good fit. He may need more time than Dante Fowler to become a star tackle, but by the end of his NFL career, I believe he’ll have made a solid impact for the Cards.