At the NFL Combine last week, UCF linebacker Shaqueem Griffin benched pressed 225 pounds 20 times and recorded the fastest 40-yard dash ever recorded for his position. And despite his awe-inspiring story, overcoming the loss of his left hand to be one of the top college prospects in this year's draft, some people with a platform believe he's not even worthy of a pick.
From Rivals' National Director of Recruiting Mike Farrell, who said he wouldn't draft Griffin if he was in charge of an NFL team. Thankfully, he's not.
So why wouldn’t I draft him? Call me a hater if you want or whatever curse words you want to use, but I just don’t think a player can be effective at the NFL level without a hand. How will he tackle elite NFL players? How will he shed blocks of 350-pound tackles? How will he intercept stray passes?
NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt didn't have a problem with it when he wore a club to protect his broken hand. Neither does New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who blew off most of his fingers with fireworks.
Yes, he’s shown he can do this at a high level in college against fair competition, but the NFL is a different animal. With only so many draft picks in each draft, unless I’m a team that’s flush with picks and is looking for a backup linebacker/special teams guy late in the draft, I’m passing.
This has nothing to do with being prejudice against those with disabilities in any way and, like many others, I was pulling for Griffin during the combine. He seems like a great kid and has overcome so much, but regardless, I’m passing when it comes to the NFL Draft.
Farrell has since doubled and tripled down on his opinion, despite high school, college and professional athletes — and pretty much everyone else I follow — putting him on blast across the Twitterverse. And I know we're just a little over two months into 2018, but I think we officially have an entry for the Worst Take of the Year.
What say you?