Shaquem Griffin dominates NFL Combine
Kevin Crompton – Sports Editor
Shaquem Griffin is more than just a great story. The former UCF linebacker with one hand
has serious talent and the potential have his name called in the 2018 NFL draft. Originally
uninvited to the NFL Combine, Griffin has posted draw dropping numbers this weekend. A 4.38
second 40-yard dash time is not only the fastest time by any linebacker since the league began
recording 40 times for linebackers in 2006, but it is also makes Griffin the third fastest player to
run the dash thus far in this year’s combine. To put Griffin’s speed into perspective, Adrian
Peterson (4.40), Ezekiel Elliot (4.47), and Odell Beckham Jr (4.43) each ran a lesser time.
Speed is not the only impressive attribute the 227-pound linebacker possesses. When Griffin
laid down on the bench press Saturday, strapped a prosthetic to the Olympic bar and took a deep
breath before lifting the bar off the rack, he had a goal in his mind to bench the 225 pounds 6
times. He achieved his goal and so much more. 20 reps is the official number for Griffin’s bench
press, a better performance than ten offensive linemen in the combine.
So he has strength, he has speed, and he can catch too? During drills on Sunday, Griffin
continued to have no excuses. He caught the football cleanly using his right hand to help secure
the ball against his left arm before tucking the ball away and sprinting down the sideline.
NFL draft projections pin Griffin going in the fifth or sixth round. Seattle Seahawks
cornerback Richard Sherman took to twitter sharing his opinion on when the linebacker should
hear his name called:
“If @Shaquemgriffin doesn’t get drafted in the first two days the system is broken.
Productive and performed well at the combine. Played well against high level competition.”
Aside from his stellar combine performance, Griffin does have some weaknesses. Shedding
blocks is a challenge for him as is making tackles when he is unable to get a clean wrap on the
ball carrier. The former American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year possesses
the instinct scouts are looking for in a linebacker. Griffin is not just a football player with one
hand. He is a remarkable athlete with exceptional talent and is someone you should expect to see
making plays on an NFL roster next season.