He might very well be the most inspirational story of the NFL draft.
Shaquem Griffin, whose left hand was amputated when he was 4 years old, overcame incredible odds to excel as a linebacker at the University of Central Florida and then get selected by Seattle in the fifth round Saturday.
When he joins the Seahawks, he’ll be reunited with his twin brother, Shaquill, a cornerback who just finished his rookie season with the team.
So, all’s well that ends well — but many expected Shaquem to go higher.
The 2016 American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year was a major star at the NFL scouting combine last month.
In case you forgot, that was the NFL combine that he wasn’t originally even invited to.
Following his workout, which included 20 bench presses at 225 pounds, most experts projected him as a third-round pick.
— NFL (@NFL) March 3, 2018
Frank Cooney of NFLDraftScout.com shared one theory on why Shaquem fell down the draft board.
One of the most amazing aspects of Griffin’s combine workout was his 4.38 time in the 40-yard dash — the fastest since 2003.
One of the best stories at the combine, UCF LB Shaquem Griffin, just ran a blazing 4.38 40 yard dash. He's absolutely killing it at the combine.pic.twitter.com/Bg4yjFVGPa
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) March 4, 2018
Cooney, however, reports that the 4.38 may have actually been a 4.58.
He said the stopwatch for Griffin’s run started a fraction of a second late, leading to an inaccurate time.
On balance, Cooney said, “it made only a little difference in his overall rating and because he was THE feel-good story at the combine, the timing incident was not reported.”
Cooney said he learned that “many teams repositioned him on draft boards, but still considered Griffin an excellent prospect. For them, his so-called slide from the top 100 to 141 was no surprise, but his on-field credentials predict he will be productive in the NFL.”
Even with the drop, it’s clear that Shaquem is happy where he is, no matter how he got there.
Shaquem Griffin will join his brother Shaquill on the Seahawks.
The last time brothers were drafted by the same team was in 2001, when the Titans took CB Andre Dyson in the second round, after they had taken WR Kevin Dyson in round one in 1998 via @EliasSports pic.twitter.com/PEUNjhgG7A
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 28, 2018
A lot of fans will be rooting for Seattle this season — or at least its newest linebacker.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.