Davis: Shaquem Griffin Is More Than Just A Story

The UCF product can absolutely be an NFL linebacker, Charles Davis says

The DA Show
March 07, 2018 - 11:38 am

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Shaquem Griffin is an amazing football player with an amazing story who had an amazing Combine. In fact, his 4.38 40-yard dash was the fastest 40 by a linebacker at the Combine since 2003.

But he only has one hand.

Can the UCF product be a linebacker in the NFL with only one hand?

You better believe it.

“He can be a linebacker in the NFL with one hand,” NFL on FOX and NFL Network analyst Charles Davis said on The DA Show. “And this isn’t just me now wanting to advance the story and wishful thinking. You go back to preseason – this is going to sound a lot like me breaking my arm patting myself on the back – but I live in Orlando, okay? I live in that area, so I’ve seen this kid for a while even though I can’t go to his games live. That’s your area. You get all that news, right?”

Right.

“The kid two years ago was the American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year,” Davis said. “They don’t just hand that out like a participation trophy. He put numbers up.”

Indeed, Griffin had 92 total tackles, 20 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, one interception and seven passes defended in 2016. He was just as good in 2017, totaling 74 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, a team-high seven sacks, one interception, three passes defended, and two forced fumbles.

And he might just be scratching the surface.

“Remember: he was a kid who didn’t play essentially his first three years there,” Davis said. “Redshirting, couldn’t get on the field as a safety. In fact, in 2014, when UCF opened against Penn State in Ireland, he played in that opener. He didn’t play another game. Think about that.”

But then along came Scott Frost.

“When the staff changed and now here comes Scott Frost and Erik Chinander, their defensive coordinator, he went in and said, ‘Look, I want to get on the field. What can I do? What can I try?’” Davis said. “They switched him from safety to outside linebacker, and less than a week later, he’s running first-team and he never looked back.”

Griffin was one of the best players, if not the best player, on a UCF squad that went 13-0 and beat Auburn in the Peach Bowl.

“The kid can play,” Davis said. “This isn’t a matter of he cannot play. Now, how much do you buy into certain things? Do you wonder if he has to play on one side because of the hand? Do you wonder if he can take on blocks? Do you wonder all those things? Fine. Turn on the tape and watch. Because if he had both hands, the only discussion we’re having is what round. That’s all we’re talking about. This kid can play. And I think that he will go between rounds 3 and 4. I think he’s in that range right now.”

But he could go higher.

“Someone else may have bigger plans for him,” Davis said. “But (he’ll play) immediately (on) special teams. I think immediately he plays nickel-dime packages where you want more speed on the field and maybe a little has to play the running game because he’s 227 pounds. And definitely he can play the spy and dance with any quarterback you want him to spy. He can go do that and do that right now. So I think he’s more than a story – and has been for a long time.”