Player Capsule: Connor Humphreys
Position: Offensive Lineman
Weight: 290 pounds
2016 season quick review: As a third-year sophomore, Humphreys often practiced with the second-team, but wasn't called upon in meaningful game action last season.
SunDevilSource.com analysis: Less than two full years after switching from defensive tackle to offensive guard, Humphreys is continuing to make progress but is in a difficult situation to move up to the starter level because there are other talented players ahead of him who are in his class or younger. That isn't to suggest that Humphreys isn't capable of playing effectively at the position heading into his junior season because he's looked pretty solid at times in a practice setting.
Humphreys has good flexibility and a low center of gravity, which results in the type of leverage that can enable success at the position. However, his footwork can be imprecise at times, which leads to some execution challenges. It's the same issue Humphreys had on defense, where he struggled with how to use his feet through engagement. The techniques are starting to become more natural and intuitive for Humphreys, which is an important hurdle in the developmental process. If that process continues, Humphreys could still improve quite a bit and potentially challenge for a starting role before his career ends.
One of Humphreys' best attributes is how he uses his hands. On defense in scrimmage settings, even though his footwork could be sloppy, he made plays because he could win some reps by beating the lineman in one-on-one situations. This is a positive attribute also on offense and Humphreys gets his hands in position to be effective in pass protection and also in the run game. He just still is inconsistent with how he activates and finishes blocks because of the syncing issues with his footwork. He can be unbalanced because of this, and get his shoulders out too far in front of his feet.
Humphreys has a compact body type for a linemen and didn't have the heft to hold up over the football or suddenness to be a 3-technique tackle so he was a 'tweener defensively and maybe even better suited to be a 3-4 end. But as an interior offensive linemen he fits the bill quite well from a physical standpoint. He's just got to become more skilled and have it all become second-nature so that his hands and impressive natural instincts can flourish.
Projected depth chart status: At this point Humphreys appears to be the fourth offensive guard, one spot behind current sixth offensive lineman Zach Robertson. It would probably take two injuries to the starting five, or perhaps subpar play from someone, for Humphreys to move up into a playing opportunity. Alternatively, signifiant improvement could move him up the depth chart. That's likely to remain the case into 2018 when he's a senior because the players currently ahead of him on the depth chart are underclassmen.