The Seahawks loaded up on defensive talent during last month’s NFL Draft. Cornerback Shaquill Griffin could be the start of a new wave of the Legion of Boom.
The Seahawks swore they weren’t trying to rebuild or replace their excellent secondary in the NFL Draft last month. Head coach Pete Carroll said on Brock and Salk yesterday that he and General Manager John Schneider weren’t simply trying to patch up holes on the team, “we just had an opportunity to get some great players who can add to this team and make us more competitive.”
The Seahawks draft players they think will contribute and compete in their system. Without competition, Carroll’s coaching style doesn’t work. And that competition has to be fueled by a steady stream of talent flowing in from the NFL Draft.
Along with Shaquill Griffin, a cornerback out of Central Florida, who the Seahawks chose with the 90th pick in the draft, Pete and John also added safeties Delano Hill and Tedric Thompson, two long, physical, talented defensive backs who could form a young corps of defenders similar to when the LOB started terrorizing the league in 2012.
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Griffin has long arms, a 6’0″ frame, and lockdown cornerback skills. Relegated to a smaller school in the Atlantic Athletic Conference because he wanted to play next to his amputee brother Shaquem, he allowed only 32.9 percent of passes to be completed on him. He’s aggressive in tackling and run defense, and has a penchant for separating receivers from the ball–exactly the kind of skills Richard Sherman has in his tool belt.
Time will tell if Griffin can keep up with faster receivers in the NFL–he was a step slow guarding now-fellow Seahawks Amara Darboh when Central Florida played Michigan lastyear, but he has the makeup for form a new generation of Legion of Boomers.
Griffin, along with Hill and Thompson, and maybe safety Mike Tyson, will be a fearsome crew to compete with during workouts and Training Camp. If nothing else, Griffin looks to be a quality backup, which the Seahawks could very well need, especially early in the season with starting corner Deshawn Shead presumably on the shelf for Week One at Green Bay.
The Seahawks got deeper on defense in the NFL Draft, and Griffin is Exhibit A. Could he be the starter across Sherman in Week One?