Kansas City Chiefs: Five combine standouts that would fit the defense
Shaquem Griffin – LB – Central Florida
Weight: 227 pounds
40 time: 4.38 seconds (1st amongst LBs)
Bench Press: 20 reps (with only one hand)
If you watched the NFL combine and didn’t come away rooting for Central Florida linebacker Shaquem Griffin, the only explanation is that you don’t have a heart. The guy is a legit NFL prospect and he has one hand. Not only does he only have one hand, he still managed to put up 20 bench press reps using a prosthetic hand. There were 12 linebacker prospects that did less reps with both of their hands and another six prospects that didn’t do the bench press at all. Can you imagine those six guys trying to explain to Griffin why they aren’t doing the bench press?
Now, as great of story as Griffin is, it would be foolish to draft a guy just because he has an inspirational story. The reason I think he would fit in Kansas City is what he brings to the team on the field. If you watch Griffin’s tape at UCF its okay. However, I think he was a little misused in their defense. He lined up most of the time as an outside linebacker and went head to head with offensive tackles a lot. While he did admirably for a guy thats 227 pounds and has one hand, there were a lot of snaps where Griffin couldn’t physically get past the tackle. However, as Griffin showed at the combine with one of the fastest linebacker times we’ve seen in several years, he has incredible closing speed and can fly to the ball.
I believe Griffin could be successful as an inside linebacker in the Chiefs base 3-4 playing next to Reggie Ragland. Ragland is a big bodied thumper who can take on linemen and fullbacks head on. That would allow a guy like Griffin to fly around and swarm to the ball. Even if you’ve never watched Griffin play a down, you can imagine the effort a guy with one hand who bench pressed 20 reps and ran a 4.38 forty plays with. He’s relentless. I love the idea of putting him and Eric Berry on the field together. In fact, if the Chiefs were concerned with Griffin’s size (and lack of hand) in the base defense against the run they could still get a lot of use out of him as a safety/linebacker hybrid in their nickel or dime defenses, similar to how they have used both Eric Berry and Daniel Sorensen in the past.
The Chiefs could likely land Griffin in the third or fourth round and I, for one, would absolutely LOVE to see him flying around Arrowhead on Sundays next season. The Chiefs need to add youth, speed, energy, and attitude to their defense and Shaquem Griffin checks every single one of those boxes.
Now let’s talk about adding some pass rush.