As Lil’Jordan Humphrey continues to craft his niche in the NFL, he’s shown that he can do a bunch of things well.
When he was at Texas, coach Tom Herman used to call Humphrey a “Swiss Army knife.”
He played running back in high school, so he has ball carrying skills. But college coaches saw his height and converted him to a receiver. At 6-foot-4 225-pounds, he can catch passes and block, but he’s not necessarily big enough to be a full-time tight end.
Although he doesn’t fit the prototype for a particular position, he’s been making plays, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said.
“I think [he has] some of the toughness that we were talking about,” Belichick said. “Made a big catch there on that second-and-long that got us into a third-and-short there in the last drive where Mac ended up scrambling. So he’s had a lot of tough yards in preseason. Made some tough catches over the middle.
He’s an interesting guy. Doesn’t really fit a mold for a certain position. But he’s a good football player. So glad we have him.”
Humphrey said that his versatility is what kept him with the Patriots and helped elevated from the practice squad for last week’s game.
“I feel like it brings value,” Humphrey told Boston.com. “I can do whatever they ask me to at a high level I feel like that’s the only reason I stuck around, because I’m able to do a lot instead of being one-dimensional.”
Having receivers like Humphrey make blocks at the second-level sometimes goes unnoticed, but it can lead to big gains, said offensive lineman David Andrews.
“He did a good job, and when you see our receivers blocking that’s when the big plays are going to be made,” Andrews said. “Not usually offensive linemen are blocking safeties and things like that. When the big plays are made it’s usually because your receivers are busting their tails getting things done. They did a good job helping us move the ball on those drives late in the game. We need that every week.”
Humphrey, who began the season on the practice squad before being elevated for last week’s game, said his preparation stays consistent no matter what squad he’s on.
“It’s the same,” Humphrey said. “Because when you’re on the practice squad you have the possibility of being called up every week, so you prepare like it’s a game and leave everything else up to God and the coaches.”
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