The wide receiver room now stands 11 deep for the New England Patriots. The latest to enter it did so in the June gap between mandatory minicamp and training camp.
And after entering the league undrafted with the New Orleans Saints.
Let’s clean out the notebook on the signing of Lil’Jordan Humphrey to a reported one-year deal that became official on Thursday.
1,000-yard mark as a Longhorns junior
Before declaring for the NFL draft as a junior, Humphrey became just the seventh different University of Texas product to hit 1,000 receiving yards in a season. Eventual Baltimore Ravens selection Devin Duvernay did so one fall after him. Kwame Cavil, Quan Cosby, Wane McGarity, John Harris as well as Roy Williams and Jordan Shipley — both twice — did so before him.
The 2018 season brought 86 catches for 1,176 yards and nine scores for Humphrey. It saw the former Southlake Carroll running back earn an All-Big 12 honorable mention. It also saw him become the first non-quarterback since 1982 with a passing, rushing and receiving touchdown for the Longhorns.
The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Humphrey ran the 40-yard dash in 4.75 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine. That time marked the slowest among the 2019 receiver prospects on hand in Indianapolis. The Patriots went on to sign two of his teammates as rookie free agents that spring in tight end Andrew Beck and offensive tackle Calvin Anderson.
Three NFL touchdowns from three passers
Humphrey caught three touchdowns from three different quarterbacks during his three years in New Orleans.
Drew Brees delivered the first in a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs back in December 2020. And in 2021, Trevor Siemian delivered the second in a November loss to the Philadelphia Eagles before Taysom Hill delivered the third in a December loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
Those trips to the end zone arrived on a seam route from 17 yards out, a fade route from four yards out, and an over route from 24 yards out as a bunched formation picked man coverage at the line of scrimmage.
A physical yet efficient 18 targets in 2021
Just 18 passes were sent into Humphrey’s area code during his final season with the Saints. Those passes became career bests with 13 receptions for 249 yards with the two touchdowns.
Pro Football Focus charted Humphrey for a 128.2 passer rating when targeted. No. 84 recorded no drops, two contested catches in as many opportunities, and averaged 7.6 yards after the catch per catch. He was intended receiver on one tipped interception thrown by rookie quarterback Ian Book.
The 24-year-old Humphrey aligned more frequently in the slot than he did out wide. But his longest reception began there in high-pointing fashion versus Miami Dolphins cornerback Byron Jones on “Monday Night Football.” It ended down the sideline 56 yards later. A wingspan of 78 ¾ inches played a part in Humphrey working back to the football with the back shoulder. That length placed him in the 76th percentile at the position, according to MockDraftable.
Recent reps on special teams
Through his initial two campaigns with the Saints, Humphrey played a total of seven snaps on special teams while going between the practice squad and active roster. He went on to play 45 in that phase last season after being retained on a futures contract.
Fellow wideouts Kevin White, Deonte Harty and veteran Patriots signing Ty Montgomery played more in the kicking game for New Orleans.
Humphrey played the majority of his on kickoff return, yet also took the field for kickoff coverage as well as both sides of the punt units through 10 appearances and four starts. He logged one solo tackle and downed one ball at the doorstep of the end zone as a gunner.