Shaquill Griffin Scout Report

With DeShawn Shead injured, Jeremy Lane coming off a bad year, and Richard Sheman being involved in trade talks, the Seahawks normally vaunted secondary had a lot of question marks heading into the draft. The Seahawks answer to those questions may come in the form of 2017 3rd round pick, Shaquille Griffin.

Shaquill Griffin, a 6" 194lb cb out of UCF, had a terrific senior year and was one of the big reasons why the Knights bounced back after a poor 2015 season. Griffin played 34 games in his four years in college, he racked up 113 tackles ( 79 solo, 34 assists) with 3 tackles for loss. He also got 6 interceptions with two pick sixes, 27 pass deflections and a fumble recovery. His senior year was definitely his best, Griffin showed us good abillity to defend the pass and that he's a very physical player, however you'd like to see a few more interception but 27 pass deflections is very good putting him top 5 in the nation at that category.
While his counting numbers were impressive, the thing that likely helped him out most was his athleticism.


A 6ft corner running a 4.38 40 yard dash is very good, alongside with great intangibles. His combine comparisons are very interesting. He tested closest to Marshon Lattimore, who was drafted with the 11th pick in the first round to the Saints. Looking at some proven NFL players that he tested close to you can't help but be excited that Devin McCourty is on that list, the Patriots safety is a two time Pro Bowler, two time Superbowl champion and you can't help but wonder if Griffin can follow those footsteps and become one of the best secondary players. 

Before watching Griffin I already had high hopes for the kid. From highlights to comments from UCF fans it had looked like we had gotten a terrific player in the third round.
After watching Griffin I still have high hopes for him, however, there are some negative aspects that he'll have to clean up if he wants to reach the potential he has.

Strengths : 

Shaq. Griffin is a very physical corner. Like most Seahawks DB's, he likes to throw hands at the receiver off the line of scrimmage. He's a very physical player off the snap and usually gets a nice punch at the receiver pushing him off his route, this is especially important since Griffin doesn't have the most speed. When he hits the receiver either they are taken out of the play or he can stick with them and make a move on the ball to either force an incompletion or an interception.
Griffin plays the zone quite well, he's got a fluid hip movement and backpedals while looking at the quarterback. He's able to jump on a play that wasn't in his zone thanks to his ability to read the quarterback's eyes.
Thanks to his physical style and tight coverage, Shaq was able to break up 27 passes in the last two seasons. So, despite being beaten on some plays Griffin didn't give up chasing his receiver. I saw a lot of pass break-ups after the receiver had caught the ball, that means that Shaq's hitting ability jarred the ball loose forcing a few incompletions that way. Another way that Shaq got a lot of break ups was because he has a great sense of when to turn around to locate the ball and break up the pass. Several times you could see Griffin run with the receiver and when he thought the time was right he would turn around, locate the ball and make the play. Unlike some corners that I scouted this past season, Griffin didn't get burnt by doing this, showing his great ability to stay with his man despite looking the other way.
There are a few more reasons why I think Shaquill can succeed in Seattle. The fact that he can recognize routes (was able to jump Zay Jones’ route for a pick) and the fact that he's disciplined enough to be concentrated on tip drills. This is huge as a lot of Seattle plays come off either anticipation plays or the ability to jump the ball on tip drills (just look at Earl Thomas' vital interception against the Falcons this season).
Last but not least Griffin plays in a very aggressive way, always trying to play the ball or make the key tackle, despite that being an issue sometimes it also shows great character and an elite mentality that big players have.

Weaknesses : 

Despite Griffin running a 4.38 40 yard dash at the combine Shaquill looks a lot slower on tape. More than once you saw him get burnt on fly routes simply because he didn't have the ability to keep up with his man, whether it was Darboh or Zay Jones you could see Griffin had a lot of issues keeping up with fast guys.
In the NFL when you're going up against Tavon Austin, JJ Nelson or Goodwin for 2 games per season that can be an issue. However, I think Griffin has the physical ability to hold up against guys like Fitzgerald, Cooper Kupp or Pierre Garçon.
Though Griffin definitely needs to pass his combine speed onto the field if he wants to succeed as an outside corner.
His speed in pads really becomes an issue when he misses his punch on a receiver. In those scenarios, he has a lot of trouble catching up down the field even if it's not a fly route.Griffin is a nasty player but has a lot of tackling issues, he whiffs on a lot of tackles and doesn't really make the simple play with a lot of the times being on a higher stance making it easy for players to shed his tackles. With PFF confirming the fact that the Seahawks corners had the most tackles this is something Griffin will need to clean up if he wants to see significant game time.

Overall I believe Griffin would benefit from a "redshirt" season. Working out with coaches off the field would help him fix his more glaring issues, but if he was forced to ply I think he could succeed. His physicality would allow him to be a solid press man corner from day one, and he is able to play in zone coverage as well. In our division, he'll have tough matchups against some speedy guys but with Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas I don't see Shaquill giving away any big plays, also Pete can use the fact that he's a bit "unknown" and could turn out to be another Sherman, but I'd rather have him play a numbered time of snaps and not over expose him as he does have flaws and older receivers can take advantage of him. 
I also believe that Griffin has a Pro Bowl caliber ability and with the LOB / Pete Carroll there to teach and groom him I don't think he'll disappoint.
He was drafted in the third round but his odds stacks up favorably to a lot of his peers in this draft class. When it's all said and done, many teams may wish they had picked him two rounds earlier.


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