Seahawks plan to play Shaquem Griffin at weakside linebacker

One-handed linebacker arrives at draft with message for NFL

Shaquem Griffin became the first one-handed player ever to be selected in the National Football League draft on Saturday, and he was elated to finally hear his name.

The 6-foot, 227-pound Griffin dazzled at the NFL Scouting Combine with a blistering 4.38 time in the 40-yard dash, which ranked first among linebackers present in Indianapolis. The 22-year-old Griffin was a key part of Central Florida's stout defense in 2017, and helped lead the team to an undefeated season and a Peach Bowl victory over SEC powerhouse Auburn.

His twin brother, Shaquill Griffin, was a third-round pick of the team previous year and started 11 games at cornerback.

The Griffin twins, Shaquill and Shaquem, have played together since they were children. "I said, 'You have to grab this!' I said, 'You don't have time for this!' I handed him the phone, and that's how it went".

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While they knew they wanted him, they also had other needs, and had placed a value of where they expected Griffin to get taken. The Seahawks envision Griffin as a pass-rushing outside linebacker, and he's also expected to play special teams. "So every day I made sure to mention my brother about something, even was just, ´hey, man, my brother got a good workout in, his backpedal is looking smooth every day´. My partner here was kind of a mess, to tell you the truth, when he handed me the phone". "It definitely was a tough three days".

"We're going to play him at the weak linebacker spot and see how that works out, to give him a chance to run and chase the football, which he is really adept at doing, " Carroll said. "The ball carriers will be faster and stronger than those at the college level, requiring the defensive players to have good technique to bring them to the ground and end the play".

Griffin's selection early in the fifth round enlivened a day in which most picks are relatively unknown or obscure players.

Griffin was in Arlington, Texas, waiting patiently in the green room through the first two days of the draft. The excitement, it's insane because you're around so many great guys in that setting and you're in the green room and you're moving around and seeing how the anxiety is building up. "But I knew how it was going to go. Magical stuff started happening", Shaquem said. "I'm going to contribute the best way possible".

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