Shaquem Griffin, whose left hand was amputated when he was 4-years-old because of complications due to a rare birth defect called amniotic band syndrome, absolutely dominated the NFL combine this weekend and I’m now ready to run through a brick wall for Shaquem.
His 40-yard dash time of 4.38 was the fastest for a linebacker since 2006, dude was flying.
Griffin’s 40 time absolutely blew the rest of his linebacker competition out of the water. But the wildest part about his sprint might just be that Shaquem’s 4.38 is the exact
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) March 4, 2018
Yesterday, I asked Griffin what he was going to run and he replied, “what do you think is fast?” I said, “For a linebacker, 4.60.” He replied, “I didn’t say linebacker, I said what do you think is fast.” Now I know what he meant. 438!!
— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) March 4, 2018
Before his record-setting 40, Shaquem put up 20 reps on the bench… with one hand. He used a prosthetic attachment to help him grip the bench in one of the wildest images from this weekend’s combine.
Griffin told NFL Network afterwards that he was extremely jacked up as soon as he realized how close he was to 20:
“My adrenaline was going through the roof. I ain’t feel like I needed to stop. As soon as I heard 16, I was like ‘Oh yeah, I’m going for 20.’ A lot of people didn’t think I was going to be able to do the bench press.”
Griffin was also motivated (as always) by his doubters. Apparently one anonymous NFL general manager said that he’d be impressed if Griffin got 5 reps up on the bench. About that…
Obviously NFL Twitter blew up after Griffin’s combine.
List of every defensive player at the NFL combine to weigh at least 225 lbs and run a sub 4.4 40 (since at least 2000):
Griffin is 227 lbs & ran an unofficial 4.38 in the 40.
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) March 4, 2018
They said he couldn’t play football without a hand. He played. They said he couldn’t play big time college football. He did. They said he probably shouldn’t be invited to the combine. He was. Shaquem Griffin just ran the fastest 40 for a linebacker in 15 years. pic.twitter.com/Wf0cttuNXz
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) March 4, 2018
Shaquem Griffin killing it.
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) March 4, 2018
— Deion Sanders (@DeionSanders) March 4, 2018
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.
— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) March 4, 2018
Griffin has shown time and time again that he isn’t going to let his physical limitations keep him from realizing his dreams.
Coming out of high school, Griffin was sparsely recruited, only getting 3 scholarship offers before ending up at the University of Central Florida. All he did was dominate the collegiate ranks to become 2016 AAC Defensive Player of the Year, 2017 Second-Team All-American, and is now well on his way to an NFL roster.
While 40-yard dashes and bench press reps are not necessarily good barometers of a successful NFL career, Shaquem Griffin has repeatedly proved detractors wrong at every step of his life. I know I’m not betting against this guy.
The NFL has been pretty short on positive stories in the last 5 years or so. Shaquem Griffin’s combine is some truly wholesome stuff. Dude is an inspiration.