Just like there were five billion mock drafts leading up to the actual draft, there is going to be endless analysis of the types of drafts teams had and which players will be making an impact. This is an impossible concept to predict just days after the actual draft. There are so many variables that go into trying to predict who will end up being the biggest steal in the draft. I figured I’d take a shot at it and at least ask the question. Could former UCF DB Shaquill Griffin end up being the steal in this draft?
Griffin was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the third round, 90th overall. The reason I pose this question is because Griffin is one of those players that could completely benefit because he gets drafted by the right team at the right time. The Seahawks have always seem to be able to figure out ways to load their defense, especially through the draft. Let’s take a look at their current roster at DB of players and where they were drafted:
Earl Thomas III – 1st Round 2010
Kam Chancellor – 5th Round 2010
Richard Sherman – 5th round 2011
Jeremy Lane – Undrafted FA 2012
Deshawn Shead – Undrafted FA 2012
Neiko Thorpe – Undrafted FA 2012
Earl Thomas is the only player drafted high in the first round which was 14th overall. Thorpe is a player who has bounced around the league and wasn’t picked up by the team straight out of college like the other DBs undrafted on the active roster.
Looking at it right now, the roster is pretty stacked with DBs. But that’s on the surface. We already know that Richard Sherman’s name has been swirling around trade rumors all off season. Obviously if Sherman isn’t traded, the chances he stays with the Seahawks beyond 2017 seems in doubt. Not sure they are going to be able to afford him. Thomas has been nagged by injuries the past few season, including breaking his tibia in week 13 last season.
Shaquill Griffin fits the mold of the type of player Pete Carroll love in his defensive back field. He’s a 6’1, so he has that size Carroll prefers, plus he has speed, clocking in at 4.38 40 time in the combine. Actually Griffin had one of the best combines out of any player all around, which certainly put him on more radars than before.
If you mix the fact that Sherman may not be there for the future and Earl Thomas has shown some durability issues lately, the chances could open up for Griffin. It also helps a rookie to be behind perennial pro bowl players to learn the game at the NFL level. Griffin won’t be coming into the season with a ton of pressure, he will have the opportunity to learn from some of the best in the game, and he’s on a team which loves the position he plays. Can it get any better than that.
From the optics of it, it’s not a stretch to say that Griffin could indeed be the steal of the 2017 NFL draft, being that he was picked in the third round. Certainly Seahawks know what they are doing when drafting, so this pick isn’t quite the long shot as it may seem. I went this whole article and didn’t even mention Russell Wilson, yet another diamond found beyond the first or second rounds. If you aren’t familiar with Shaquill Griffin, get acquainted with him. You will be hearing a lot about him, maybe not so much in 2017, but in years to come. And you can say you heard it here first! Or just take the credit yourself, who’s keeping score anyways?