Shaquem Griffin didn’t really run that 4.38. Supposedly. It doesn’t matter.
Maybe Shaquem Griffin didn’t set a combine record after all. He’s still really fast and really good. Best of all, he’s still a Seahawk.
Shaquem Griffin may not have run the fastest time ever by a linebacker at the NFL combine after all. In a story on nfldraftscout.com, Frank Cooney broke the news that Griffin’s blazing time of 4.38 in the 40 yard dash was partly due to a less than blazing start of the clock. This report has been repeated and corroborated by several sources, so I suppose we should accept it. It looks like the Seahawks did, after all. Or did they?
Bob Condotta has a great write-up on this story. Of course he does; he’s Bob Condotta. Anyway, in his article he has a very interesting quote from Pete Carroll:
"I think probably the coolest thing that happened at the Combine is that he said to us in our meeting that I’m going to run faster than my brother, and when our clocks came off, our handhelds, he beat his brother’s time. And we went nuts about it, because he called it, and nobody thought he would be able to do that, and he called it. So, it started the lore, as far as we’re concerned, about this kid."
So is you can believe Pete Carroll, the Seahawks timed Shaquem Griffin at 4.38, too. Actually, they must have clocked him faster than 4.38, because that’s what Shaquill ran in the combine in 2017. And maybe he did run faster than 4.38. In the same article, Condotta quotes John Schneider as saying “The guy ran a 4.36. And he’s like 15 pounds heavier than his brother. Maybe more.”
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Yeah, the clock was off. Certainly. Or was it?
Now, I’m not going to say that the NFL never makes mistakes. Of course they do. Super Bowls in northern cities? The continued existence of the Pro Bowl? Yes, the league has made some errors in the past. So of course it’s entirely possible, even likely, the clock went off late for Shaquem Griffin’s record run. Estimates vary, but most state the clock was two tenths of a second slow, which gives Griffin a time of 4.58. Which just happens to be exactly what he ran in his second try.
Or is it possible…just possible, that someone in the league thought it would be a good idea to let the teams know just before the draft that there was a problem with Griffin’s time, even if there wasn’t? Griffin ran that 4.38 on March 4th. Doesn’t it seem just a bit odd that the time wasn’t corrected until so much later? Or that at the very least, the corrected time didn’t become public until after the draft? Everything gets leaked these days, yet a 40 yard dash time managed to be kept more closely guarded than KFC’s famous 11 herbs and spices.
Shaquem Griffin was being touted as high as a third round pick, but magically dropped to the fifth round. This despite being, well, Shaquem Griffin. To the fifth round, where the Seahawks just happened to have the fourth and ninth picks, along with what seemed like half the entire round. So was a little disinformation spread to help ensure the feel-good story of the year would happen?
No, I really don’t think so. After all, Griffin was getting drafted. He had more pressures per rush than Myles Garrett. But doesn’t it make you wonder, just a little bit?