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Could former UCF DB Shaquill Griffin be the steal of the draft?

Ari Russell

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(Photo by Samuel Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

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?

 

 

Born in the Nation’s Capital, Washington D.C., Ari Russell watched the rise of the 1980’s Miami Hurricanes and knew that he had to be part of the “U” someday. After graduating from Coral Gables, Ari rose through the ranks of the former XM Satellite Radio and then Sirius/XM as college football executive producer. He later spent 2 seasons as the publisher of the website “Beyond U Sports” focusing on major college football/basketball. Ari brings a great perspective on everything Miami, including the Dolphins to F.F.I.

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UCF Knights

First arrest made in burglary of Scott Frost’s Nebraska home

Florida Football Insiders

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Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

We have a development in the burglary of former UCF-now Nebraska head coach Scott Frost’s Lincoln home.

This as, authorities there announced Thursday that have taken a 17 year old female into custody for having possession of one of Frost’s Oregon Air Jordan shoes.

The Lincoln-Star Journal had the story first this morning:

Late last month, while Frost’s house was being renovated, and his family was not living there, thieves apparently accessed the house through an unlocked garage.

They allegedly took numerous championship rings of Frost’s from his Nebraska playing days and his Oregon and UCF coaching stints. The rings included a UCF “National Champions” ring that has caused controversy. Although apparently most, if not all, of the rings were found in the garage of the home a short time after the burglary was reported.

Still missing, now, are items like football helmets, autographed pictures, the high end Nike shoes, and other memorabilia.

Authorities would not specify, yet, what led them specifically to the 17 year old. However, a source told the paper that online postings about having memorabilia led to many tips and furthered the investigation.

Lincoln police also stressed they believe there could be several more arrests in the case.

And, they and Frost still believe that the merchandise and memorabilia missing is worth an estimated $50,000.

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UCF Knights

Former UCF star Shaquem Griffin getting noticed in Seahawks camp

Florida Football Insiders

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Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Even though it’s all the way across the country and in the Pacific Northwest, the feel-good story of former UCF star and now Seattle Seahawks rookie Shaquem Griffin continues to gain momentum.

Griffin, who was the American Athletic Conference defensive player of the year last year and helped the UCF Knights go 13-0 and upset Auburn in the Peach Bowl for a perfect season, had already become very easy to root for in the pre-draft process.

This, after the NFL initially did not invite him to their scouting combine, but then reversed course, when public sentiment when his way. Griffin, despite losing his left hand as a small child,  wowed everyone at the combine in Indianapolis and became an inspiration.

In a story with USA Today on Wednesday, Nate Davis spent some time recently at Seahawks training camp and and they are raving about Griffin’s work ethic and play:

Probably the biggest compliment so far is from former Superbowl champion player and current Seahawks defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. Norton told Davis:

“He’s playing surprisingly really good,” Norton Jr. told USA TODAY Sports, clarifying his surprise is a nod to how quickly Griffin has grasped his new assignments.

“I mean, this kid is fast, he’s really smart, he’s really physical, he doesn’t make the same mistake twice, and he shows up every day. He’s for real. We understand that he’s missing a hand — and everybody focuses on that note — but he’s a real football player.

“He’s a joy to coach.”

Of course, it also helps the Seahawks drafted his twin brother, Shaquill Griffin, to play defensive back a year ago. There’s no question it’s helped him get acclimated.

Seattle opens their preseason on Thursday night hosting Indianapolis.

And, make no mistake. Shaquem Griffin has got potential to help the Seahawks in spots and on special teams, and probably soon this season.

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UCF Knights

Former UCF, now Nebraska coach Scott Frost’s home robbed

Florida Football Insiders

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Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Well, it usually takes a couple of losses, for “the honeymoon” to be over for a new coach returning to his alma mater.

Unfortunately, for new Nebraska and former UCF head coach Scott Frost, a rude reality check happened this weekend involving a burglary of his Lincoln, Nebraska, home.

Riley Johnson, a writer with the Lincoln Journal Star in Nebraska, broke the story on social media Monday morning:

The burglary occurred while Frost is not living in home as it’s being renovated and there was “come and go” access by the workers.

And as Johnson reports, the memorabilia includes not only his Nebraska championship rings, as a player, but two of the infamous UCF “National Champions” rings, as well.

You remember those Rings don’t you? As UCF has proclaimed themselves champions all off season, as college football’s only undefeated team in Division One a year ago.

Frost led the Knights to the 13-0 season, the AAC Championship Game win and the upset of Auburn in the Peach Bowl. However, he was not really fond of AD Danny White and the marketing push to call themselves “National Champions.”

Frost initially told USA Today this past Spring, that had he stayed in Orlando, he would have had a problem with the whole “National Champions” marketing push, while still trying to recruit/coach.

Frost back peddled a couple of days later in an interview with Orlando Sportsradio station 97.9 FM, “The Game,”

“I’m so proud of that team and  will be forever… and happy for those guys and I don’t want anything that I said in an answer to have the appearance of diminishing from what they accomplished and how grateful we are to be a part of it… I don’t want anything I say to take away from those unbelievable kids and what that unbelievable team accomplished last year.”

It’s not relevant anymore for Frost, because he took the Nebraska job last December and is now back at his alma mater, where he quarterbacked the Huskers in the late 90s.

Still, it’s a bummer that thieves would rob one of their heroes, who’s returning to try to restore Nebraska to some kind of national relevancy.

And knowing how football-crazy that area and state is, the criminals who stole Frost’s jewelry will have a hard time showing it anywhere and not getting caught.

Stay tuned.

And Monday night, there was already an update that some of the items that had been alleged to have been taken from Frost’s home had shown back up:

Interestingly, Frost discovered a bag with most of the rings, the shoes and the gaming console in his garage.

According to the story:

Lincoln Police Capt. Todd Kocian said Monday night that Frost found all of his championship rings, the gaming console and one Central Florida football helmet.

Still missing were the shoes, five other football helmets and photographs.

The story goes on to say that the thieves attempted to rob a gun safe in the home too, and actually ripped the keypad off of it, but were unsuccessful.

The story will obviously continue.

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