Shaquem Griffin Draft Profile

Shaquem Griffin draft profile


  • Athletic
  • High football IQ
  • Work ethic
  • Looks to punish as hitter
  • Impressive total of 13 passes defensed on 42 targets
  • Coverage skills
  • Plays fast uses good technique
  • Good burst as an edge rusher
  • Versatile
  • Instinctive with the talent to play 3-4 inside backer and 4-3 outside backer spots
  • Accelerates quickly off the snap and can out race some tackles to the edge

Analysis: Shaquem Griffin is not just a great story, he’s an excellent football player. He lost his left hand due to a rate prenatal condition, but that did not prevent him from being named the American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year in his first year as a starting outside linebacker in 2016. He led the Knights with 57 solo tackles (had 92 total), 20 tackles for loss, and 11.5 sacks by chasing down plays with speed and wrapping his arms, while also intercepting a pass and breaking up seven others on the year. Griffin was again a first-team all-conference choice in 2017 (74 tackles, 13.5 for loss, team-high seven sacks, one interception, three pass breakups, two forced fumbles). He can play either linebacker spot and I believe he can excel as a safety in certain game situations. He has the cover ability to hang with most tight ends and running backs and his production while in coverage is elite. He looks to punish ball carriers when tackling. In addition to his elite cover skills, he can impact the game rushing the passer. His quick burst off the snap makes him dangerous as an edge blitzer. Three words come up often when talking about Shaquem: Instinctive, Intelligent and Versatile.


  • Could use more mass and lower body strength
  • Needs to play with more consistent knee bend
  • Block shedding leaves a lot to be desired
  • Little margin for error as tackle finisher
  • Struggles against cut blocks
  • Target point as tackler can be a little high
  • Unable to make quick exits when play-side shoulder covered by a blocker

Analysis: The obvious weakness in Shaquem Griffin’s game is his lack of a hand, but that doesn’t stop him from being productive on the football field. He will need to add more strength at the next level to hang with the big boys. Block shedding is a concern, he has difficulty disengaging from blockers. He had his fair share of ‘missed tackles’ at UCF and has little room for error when going in for the tackle. His target point when tackling is high, but with proper knee bend he should be able to shoot lower on opposing runners. Fighting off cut blocks need work.

What the experts say: “The old staff signed him just to make sure they got his brother. The new staff realized the guy was a player and plugged him in and he wins Defensive Player of the Year in his conference. He doesn’t have a left hand. That’s going to limit him with some things and that’s going to hurt his draft value, but he’s fast and athletic and makes a ton of plays.” — NFC team scouting director

Size: 6’1 227lbs

Draft Rank: No.5 OLB

NFL Comparison: Deone Bucannon

Draft Projection: Round 3-4

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Dan Schalk

Dan Schalk is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief for MFST and can be heard weekly on the 'My Fantasy Podcast'. He is likely watching Seinfeld right now, not that there's anything wrong with that.
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Latest posts by Dan Schalk (see all) SchalkAmerican AthleticNFLNFL DraftRecent PostsAAC,NFL,NFL Draft,Shaquem Griffin,Shaquem Griffin Draft Profile,UCF Golden KnightsShaquem Griffin Draft Profile Strengths: Athletic High football IQ Work ethic Looks to punish as hitter Impressive total of 13 passes defensed on 42 targets Coverage skills Plays fast...