Shaquem Griffin has become the first one-handed player to be drafted into the NFL on Saturday (April 28) at the 2018 NFL Draft at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
A standout linebacker for the undefeated Knights, Griffin achieved all of his success despite having no left hand. He wears a prosthetic, yet Griffin stunned onlookers by bench-pressing 225 pounds a staggering 20 times at the combine, then ran the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds.
Griffin is fast, hits hard and never stops coming. Will that make him a first-rounder? Probably not, given NFL teams’ concerns with any sort of physical issues for a prospect.
Griffin, whose brother Shaquill was selected in the third round last year by Seattle, insists there are no drawbacks about him as a pro prospect.
“I don’t see it as a handicap and I have never looked at it that way,” Griffin says. “I hope I am an inspiration for people, to see I can do whatever I want. I haven’t seen anything I couldn’t do. I’m never going to let someone put a label on me.”
Shaquem was born with a congenital birth defect that affected the ability to use his left hand before having his hand amputated as a child after suffering from extreme pain. He clearly is not letting that stand in his way.
Griffin also bench-pressed 225lb 20 times, three more than his identical twin managed, having attached a prosthetic hand onto the bar. Current NFL defensive stars JJ Watt and Von Miller were among those to react in awe on social media.
He said before the draft: “I want to show the entire world, no matter [if you have] one hand, two hands, if you’re a ball player, you just play ball.”