With ‘whirlwind’ draft day done, Shaquem Griffin focused on football
Shaquem Griffin said he has no problem with all the attention he has received as perhaps the biggest story of the 2018 NFL draft. But after what he described as a whirlwind period of media interviews and an unforgettable experience on draft day, he’s turning his focus squarely to football.
Now that’s over with and it’s time for us to get to work and make sure I give high competition, he said, make sure I give the coaches a chance to see who I am and make sure I can do my best to make sure I can make my players better and help anybody I can.
The speed that the Seahawks had to temper Friday was part of what drew them to Griffin, who was clocked at 4.38 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the scouting combine the fastest time by a linebacker in more than a decade. The Seahawks are putting him at the weak-side linebacker spot, where they feel his speed and relatively smaller frame are best suited. For now, he’s projected to back up former Pro Bowler K.J. Wright and compete for a part-time role on defense in addition to playing on special teams.
The Packers acquired Kizer via trade from the Cleveland Browns this offseason in exchange for cornerback Damarious Randall.
Kizer wasn’t far from a first-round pick in 2017 when the Browns selected him in the second round after he played at Notre Dame. He struggled to establish himself as a consistent playmaker in his first year by completing 53.6 percent of his passes for 2,894 yards, 11 touchdowns and a head-turning 22 interceptions.
There is something to be said for the talent he was playing with considering the Browns went 0-16, but it is still a stretch to say he would measure up against Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen, Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen and Lamar Jackson considering he wasn’t a first-rounder last year.
McCarthy’s belief in Kizer suggests the Notre Dame product will have the opportunity to become Aaron Rodgers’ backup after Brett Hundley struggled in the role last season with nine touchdown passes and 12 interceptions when the starter was injured.