Central Florida linebacker Shaquem Griffin ran a 4.38-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine on Sunday. His time was locked in as official, and it’s his second consecutive day of being awesome in Indianapolis. On Saturday, Griffin hit the weight bench and put up 20 reps of 225 pounds.
Oh, and he has one hand.
Griffin had his left hand amputated at age 4 due to a congenital condition known as amniotic band syndrome. He was not among the first group of players invited to the combine, just like his brother, Shaquill, a cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks. He eventually got his invite though, and he’s impressing everybody.
His performance on Sunday isn’t impressive “for a guy with one hand.” It’s just damn impressive. His time in the 40-yard dash matched the time his brother ran a year ago, despite his brother being more than 20 pounds lighter than him and playing a defensive back position.
Griffin’s time is the fastest time for a linebacker since 2003. You can see his run right here:
And you can see it again, simulcast over his brother’s run. Or you can watch him simulcast over Julio Jones, Ezekiel Elliott and Richard Sherman. Or, below, you can peep his 20 reps on the bench press.
Video of Griffin's bench press: pic.twitter.com/mXsj8rLkrx— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) March 3, 2018
I’m sure the NFL Network will simulcast Griffin completely annihilating Rich Eisen’s 40-yard-dash attempts at some point, and that will also be a delight to watch. Then there’s this, too:
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
The San Francisco 49ers have a need at linebacker, though it’s unclear right now how big they consider that need. Griffin isn’t going to be a first-round pick, but his stock has certainly gone up quite a bit after his combine performance.
I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s taken on Day 2, though who really knows with the NFL Draft? He will be drafted though, and whatever team gets him will certainly have to work around his condition to find the perfect fit, but he’s shown to be a high-character, high-motor, high-effort player who was productive in college and can certainly be productive in the NFL.