In this 2018 NFL Draft profile, we look at the strengths and weaknesses of outside linebacker Shaquem Griffin out of the University of Central Florida. How does he fit with the New York Jets?
Shaquem Griffin has moved into being considered a top outside linebacker in the 2018 NFL Draft from many insiders. Griffin has shown he has an NFL ready skill set and should do well as a competitive outside linebacker in the league. Many teams will want him and he will improve any roster the moment he is drafted.
For how big and tall Griffin is, he reminds many people of linebacker Ladarius Gunter. He enters the draft at 6-2 and weighs in at 229 pounds. For how well Gunter was able to get off the blocks and make open field tackles, Griffin almost replicates him with the same way he plays the game.
Griffin is able to use his intelligence and instincts for routes developing and is able to give a limited amount of space for receivers. When passes were thrown his way only 32 percent were completed. When it comes to the run game he is able to dominate and be an elite run stopper. He is also able to wrap up running backs and not let them get loose in the open field.
When passes are completed he runs through whoever the target is as Griffin is always looking to rip the football out. He has been considered a leader on the Central Florida defense for how well he sees everything on the field. He uses his well time leap skills to challenge at catch point for receivers.
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For being a linebacker, Griffin lacks the normal height in what players are normally in his position. He has a tendency to break his form just to try to keep up with speedy receivers.
Griffin has problems in getting off the blocks which allow opponents to have a big play develop. When he plays press coverage he is unable to get out of his formation on time.
When he plays off man coverage he is not consistent and has a very slow mindset. He needs to fix his formation because he has a tendency of staying too high and it allows opponents to break tackles. He needs to embrace his abilities and use them at the correct moment.
For being a versatile player, Griffin has the ability to handle duties wherever he is needed. With all the skill sets Griffin has it makes him look like a player who will be inserted into a starting lineup since he’s that talented.
He will need to be put in the right organization with a 3-4 defensive scheme. He proved many people wrong as he has plenty of speed and athleticism as he will be able to make big plays for a defense that needs playmakers. As far as his chances of landing on the Jets, he will likely be drafted in Round 3 which means he might still be available for the taking if the Jets feel he can be molded to be a future starter.