Shaquem Griffin, twin brother of the Seahawks' Shaqull, continued his electrifying performance at the NFL Combine on Sunday with a record-breaking 4.38 40. It's only a matter of when. NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock suggested NFL teams will average the times in an evaluation of Griffin's speed, which host Rich Eisen backed up with the idea that teams do their own hand-timing of the 40-yard dash anyway. If the official time stands, it is going down as the fastest time in 15 years for a linebacker. And he's strong, too.
Twenty reps on the 225-pound bench press sounds like an accomplishment in itself. He had to use a prosthetic hand to complete the drill, yet finished 11th among all linebackers at the combine.
He was born with a deformed left hand that was amputated when he was four years old.
"It was awesome", he said later, a smile painted across his face.
According to Fox News, "As a freshman, [Griffin] couldn't even lift the 45-pound bar, but then he was fitted with the prosthethic and his mom cried when he did his first pull-up". "My mom saw me do my first pull-up my freshman year, and she's emotional and she started crying".
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More than just a feel-good story, Griffin can freaking play.
"I feel like all the boys and girls out there with birth defects ... we have our own little nation, and we've got to support each other, because everybody in this world deserves to show what they can do without anybody telling them they can't". I couldn't believe he got the late invite here. "Just from the standpoint of a football evaluator, he's a helluva player". I got a few interceptions against some slots. He was really good on tape. Everything he's done on and off the field should have him locked in as a top-100 player in this year's draft. This is a legitimate football player. Forget about the deformity, or whatever you want to call what he has.
There shouldn't be any Shaquem Griffin doubters remaining, but just in case the linebacker is using every opportunity to silence his critics.
"I always hold myself to a higher standard than a lot of people just because if we're running drills, if I drop a ball, they're going to like, 'Well, he dropped the ball because he has one hand.' If anybody else drops a ball, they're going to be like, 'Well, maybe it was a bad ball'".
"I thought I was gonna walk over here and there were gonna be like three people", he said, flashing that trademark smile.