We’ve been privy living in Florida to one of the great college football and now, potentially, NFL Draft stories of the past few years with LB Shaquem Griffin of UCF. Now, the NFL and fans all over the country are getting more familiar with him and his chances starting with the Senior Bowl this week.
Griffin, who was one of the leaders of the Knights unbeaten 2017 season, already showed on the field at the Peach Bowl against Auburn, that he belongs in the conversation for playing at the next level. He repeatedly created problems for QB Jarett Stidham and the Tigers offense (above) with his ability to beat pass blockers for pressure and sacks. And, he showed that he could stay with backs out of the backfield, too.
The best part of the story is that Griffin, who’s twin brother Shaquill was drafted in the third round by the Seahawks and saw significant playing time last year, had to have his left hand amputated at age four due to rare genetic condition.
And some are doubting what he can do, because of that. They are wrong to doubt.
Get ready to be impressed with Griffin, not only from his game tape, but with how he handles himself, like in this interview after Tuesday’s initial practice the Senior Bowl in Mobile, AL.
The NFL Network crew covering the practices/drills wanted to discuss several subjects about his future with him.
“Make sure you stay tuned in. I got a surprise for you.”
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) January 24, 2018
Love the answer on not being invited to the NFL Combine next month, and critics doubting him, etc.: “I got a surprise for you.”
Also, you have to love the humility that he shows, even when there are critics.
Critics who like to gloss over the fact that Griffin tallied 100 solo tackles and 18.5 sacks his last two seasons with the Knights.
And, as for being able to play at the next level? Analysts Charles Davis, who’s worked NFL Games for Fox for over 10 years, and Mike Mayock, who is the NFL Network’s top draft analyst and also a TV and radio game analyst every week in the league, both sung Griffin’s praises repeatedly on their broadcast Tuesday.
Mayock at one point laid out the Griffin can absolutely be on the roster in a multi-faceted role of playing edge rushing linebacker and maybe some safety, which he’s done at UCF, but also as a quality special teams player.
We will also see, if the NFL changes its mind and sends him a combine invite. Even if they don’t, every team in the league is there with him this week in Mobile, and that’s good enough in the interview and fact finding process , too.
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