Shaquem Griffin becomes first one-handed National Football League draft in history

Pauline Obrien
April 30, 2018

Shaquem Griffin became the first one-handed player ever to be selected in the National Football League draft on Saturday, and he was elated to finally hear his name.

Griffin has gained attention at the NFL Combine in March when he ran the quickest 40-yard dash for a linebacker since 2003.

Griffin was named the American Athletic Conference defensive player of the year in 2016 after racking up 92 tackles, 20 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks.

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Griffin, whose twin brother Shaquill was selected by the Seahawks in the third round previous year, was in attendance at Dallas' AT&T Stadium to hear his name called at the 2018 NFL Draft. Griffin's selection and reuniting with his twin brother Shaquill (a cornerback for the Seahawks) received universal praise.

"It's unbelievable just to be here right now, I couldn't ask for more, " Shaquem Griffin said.

"I loved watching you play football in college and I can't wait to cheer you on in the NFL".

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Griffin had an excellent rookie season for the Seahawks a year ago, starting 11 games at left corner and posting a Pro Football Focus rating of 77.2. "This is not the end of my road ... it's only just the beginning", says Shaquem. One team had to feel so strongly about each brother that it would choose him before the other 31 teams who are equally determined to choose the best football players. "My brother kind of tackled me with my cellphone, saying 'answer it, answer it.' I looked, and that's when tears just started pouring down".

Since the, he's been the talk of the league, and the outpouring of support from the entire NFL and wider sporting community after he was drafted was wonderful to see. However, the opportunity to play on the same team as his brother took the dream to the next level.

So I stopped short of rooting for the Seahawks to draft Shaquill's twin brother right up until the very moment the Seahawks picked him. "He is as fast as you can get as a linebacker", Carroll said. It's not like I know the family or anything.

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"As long as I get a chance to get to a practice, I'm going to show everybody what I can really do". But everything I've learned about emotions in sports also told me that's precisely the type of mistake you make when you get too emotionally invested in a specific outcome.

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