Former UCF linebacker Shaquem Griffin is one of the biggest stars of draft season. Obviously, he's an amazing story, having overcome the loss of his left hand at the age of 4 to become one of the nation's top linebackers. However, he's also made the most of his opportunities this offseason, whether it was at the Reese's Senior Bowl or the NFL Scouting Combine, where he put on a show earlier this month.
UCF will hold its pro day on Thursday, so Griffin is about to get one more shot to stand out on a big stage before the 2018 NFL Draft. With that in mind, I thought it would be a good time to reach out to five NFL personnel executives with this question: Which team is the best fit for Griffin? Here are their answers.
Executive 1:Pittsburgh Steelers
"How about Pittsburgh? He can be a change-of-pace rusher with the ability to give them some rush/drop potential while also playing on special teams."
Executive 3:Arizona Cardinals
"Arizona. I feel like they've done a good job with tweeners on defense. I know they have a new coaching staff, but if you play fast, that organization seems to be able to find a home for you."
Executive 4:New England Patriots
"The Patriots. ... They do a good job of finding what players can do and utilizing their strengths in certain packages. He'll play on special teams. He provides a little position flexibility (can play stacked or off the edge rushing the passer), and he plays with a high motor and relentless style that they respect. Where most teams will say why he can't, their scheme and the way they utilize their players will show why he can."
Executive 5:Baltimore Ravens
"John Harbaugh values guys with toughness, character and special-teams value. He'd have a role on special teams there right away and he would eventually have a home on that defense."
Conclusion: These are all great fits for Griffin. I think he's likely to be picked at some point in the range of Rounds 3-4, and could emerge as a full-time defensive starter much quicker than some expect. I love him as a Will linebacker in a 4-3 scheme who can make plays in space. He can cover running backs and tight ends. He can also use his natural blitzing ability on occasion. The bonus comes with his ability to be a dominant special-teams player.