No left hand, no problem for Shaquem Griffin.
In the story of the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine, the Central Florida linebacker stepped up to the bench press Saturday afternoon and pushed out 20 225-pound reps using a special prosthetic strapped to his left arm.
"Just starting that off, I just felt the energy from everybody," said Griffin, who lost his left hand due to a prenatal condition called Amniotic Band Syndrome. "I mean, my adrenaline was going through the roof and I didn't feel like I needed to stop. So as soon as I heard I was at 16, I was like, 'Oh, yeah, I'm going for 20.' I was like, 'I'm going to change my fitness regimen, I've got to grind this out right here.' It felt amazing to reach that goal."
Even if he had two hands, Griffin's 20 reps would have impressed the room in Indianapolis. The number, which tied for 16th among participating linebackers, was three more than 256-pound Oklahoma tight end Mark Andrews, one more than 320-pound Western Michigan offensive lineman Chukwuma Okorafor and six more than 345-pound Oklahoma offensive lineman Orlando Brown.
"I mean, it's amazing," Shaquem said after the performance. "Obviously a lot of people didn't feel like I was going to do the bench press and for me to be able to put a prosthetic on -- I remember when I first started using the prosthetic, I had just the bar and I was shaking all over the place when I first got to UCF and being able to put up numbers like that, with good competition with everybody, it's amazing because it just goes to show how much hard work I put in to get this level."
Prior to the combine, Griffin was projected to be a mid-to-late round pick, with good fits in New Orleans, Jacksonville, Seattle and Oakland, per NFL draft analyst Chad Reuter.
If the rest of his combine goes as well as Saturday's bench press, though, that projection could change by the beginning of next week.