2017 NFL Draft Player Profiles: UCF CB Shaquill Griffin

From now until the 2017 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to showcase as many prospects as possible and examine both their strengths and weaknesses. Most of these profiles will feature individuals that the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to have an interest in, while a few others will be top-ranked players. If there is a player you would like us to analyze, let us know in the comments below.

Shaquill Griffin/CB UCF – 6’0/1 194

The Good

– Has triangle numbers, height/weight/speed (4.38 40) with good length (32 3/8 inches) and strong measurable across the board
– Fluid and does well in man coverage, able to stay in-phase
– Finishes plays and uses length well, excellent ball skills and ability to contest the football at catch points
– Physical, aggressive player who sticks his face in the fan as a tackler and against the run, willing to challenge pulling guards and sacrifice his body
– Some versatility, little bit of time in the slot and safety

The Bad

– Doesn’t always seem to play to elite timed speed and vulnerable to getting beat downfield
– Has to play cleaner as receiver tries to swap hips instead of jamming and bumping, causes him to get out of phase
– Needs to use leverage better along the sideline as a tackle, use it to his advantage and not allow cutback
– Starting experience is just average


– Two year starter, made two career starts at safety as a junior in 2015
– Career: 113 tackles, 6 INTs
– 2016: 49 tackles, 4 INTs
– Ran track all four years in high school in addition to football
– Twin brother started at linebacker this year at USF

Tape Breakdown

Griffin certainly turned heads after the Combine, turning in one of the best workouts of any defensive back. A 4.38 40, 38.5 inch vertical, and 11 foot broad jump. He was one of two cornerbacks to completely fit our study looking at cornerbacks, making him someone I wanted to check out.

As you’d imagine, he’s a strong athlete, an easy-mover who can sink his hips and change directions without any hint of stiffness. Suits him well in man coverage, being able to stay in-phase and he uses his length to be able to finish. Love this play, staying with this dig route and breaking it up at the catch point.

He’s a fiery tackler who will support the run. Love this play, taking on the Michigan puller and cutting him down. Doesn’t make the tackle but shows his attitude and demeanor, which the Steelers can certainly appreciate. Watch him, the right cornerback, flip #80.

But despite having an uber-athletic profile, I saw him beat deep twice in the three games I put on. He may not be quite as 4.38 fast but his technique needs work too, not trying to lean into and bump receivers off their stem and using his speed to get back in-phase.

Because he is such a hyper-athlete and tested so well, something so important for the position, I think he’ll get drafted than what most people think. A possible late Day three two pick. That may be high based on the tape I saw but there’s a fair bit of upside with him.

Projection: Late Day Two-Early Day Three

Games Watched: vs Arkansas State (2015), at Michigan,, at USF

Previous 2017 NFL Draft Player Profiles
Deshaun WatsonHaason ReddickMarshon LattimoreCorey ClementTim Williams
Jourdan LewisTakkarist McKinleyBrad KaayaNathan PetermanO.J. Howard
Charles HarrisAlvin KamaraTyus BowserDavid NjokuDeMarcus Walker
Chidobe AwuzieDeShone KizerMarlon MackCameron SuttonZach Cunningham
Corey DavisCarl LawsonPatrick MahomesKareem HuntEvan Engram
Derek RiversRyan AndersonJoshua DobbsJordan LeggettSamaje Perine
Corn ElderBucky HodgesJames ConnerCooper KuppStanley Williams
Fred RossJamaal WilliamsGeorge KittleEjuan PriceChris Wormley
Jeremy McNicholsJoe MathisDerek BarnettAmba Etta-TawoGareon Conley
Taco Charlton Elijah McGuireRyan SwitzerTanoh KpassagnonTre’Davious White
Brian HillMatthew DayesDonnel PumphreyJosh ReynoldsNazair Jones
De’Veon SmithDavis WebbObi MelifonwuTJ WattJohn Ross
Jerod EvansVince BiegelJosh CarrawayJosh MaloneKevin King
Fadol BrownChris GodwinNate GerryJordan WillisStacy Coley
Zay JonesJimmie GilbertGlen AntoineTarell BashamDuke Riley
Rayshawn JenkinsChad KellyTrey HendricksonJeremy SprinkleJoe Williams
D’Onta ForemanCarlos WatkinsDamontae KazeeWayne GallmanWillie Quinn
Xavier WoodsElijah HoodMalik McDowellDesmond KingSolomon Thomas
Cordrea TankersleyRaekwon McMillanJosh Harvey-ClemonsChristian McCaffreyChris Carson
Montravius AdamsAaron JonesMack HollinsDeatrich Wise JrAdoree’ Jackson
JuJu Smith-SchusterJosh JonesDavon GodchauxLorenzo JeromeQuincy Wilson
Stevie Tu’ikolovatuMike WilliamsAhkello WitherspoonDede WestbrookTedric Thompson
Marcus MayeJoe MixonTaywan TaylorTyson FernandezJarrad Davis
Ishmael ZamoraDaeshon HallCJ BeathardKendell BeckwithJalen Reeves-Maybin
Rasul DouglasMarcus WilliamsDevonte FieldsJustin EvansKenny Golladay
Marquez WhiteChad WilliamsCurtis SamuelD.J. JonesSeth Russell
Amara DarbohNoah BrownMalik HookerCarroll PhillipsIsaiah Ford
Marlon HumphreyT.J. LoganJalen MyrickChad HansenEddie Jackson
Budda BakerJahad ThomasFabian MoreauMatt MilanoTashawn Bower
Jason CroomJamal AgnewHoward Wilson

About the Author

Alex Kozora
Full-time blogger from mom's basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.
  • VinHuddle

    He’d be a fine addition imo. I really like his athleticism

  • Boots

    Do you think its possible the team takes three CB’s? Lol

  • Steelers12

    lol highly doubtful but never say never

  • Steelers12

    could be a nice day 3 pick

  • Darth Blount 47

    This is one of the few profiles, Alex, where you sort of seem to be a bit ambiguous with your conclusion. You used the word “love” a few times, but not in a direct overall context. This is essentially the “Kevin Colbert” of draft profiles that you’ve done. And I feel a bit like Aditi Kinkbwhahahbaalalahaba. “Tell us how you really feel?!”

    What round projection are you ultimately giving him? And would he actually be a good fit for us? Is the 3rd round a tad too high, but he’s a steal in the 5th? You said “a possible late Day 3, but your projection frame is a bit better, does that mean you think he could fall to the 5th/6th-ish? (Which I’d be stunned by after that Combine)

    I like Griffin, but am too a bit concerned about an overall body of work. This kid reminds me of a beautiful and willing mold of clay. Which from the CB position, you don’t often get. Sometimes you THINK you have that, but teaching those dogs tricks, proves to be difficult. As you astutely referenced, he seems to be quite the “box-checker” for us. But the playing at UCF and seeming lack of scouting, goes against him. I like the track background. And I LOVE the fact that he’s a twin! Position versatility a plus, as a Safety/CB. Those long arms no doubt contributing to a high number of pass-break-ups (34 over just 2 years).

    I think Shaq could be quite undervalued, really. He has all the requisite tools, and if this guy went to Ohio State or Alabama, we’d be talking about a 2nd round prospect for sure. If we don’t draft a boundary CB earlier, I’d have no problem securing Shaq in the 3rd or 4th round.

  • H.K. northern cali

    Its taken the steelers yrs to rebuild the secondary. Still not quite done. Can’t wait to see who’s added to it shortly.

  • Alex Kozora

    I think it’s important to remember I can be very, very dumb. I meant to say a possible late Day 2, meaning late round three, and combined the two. I think he goes somewhere in that late 3, mid 4th range.

    His twin has a really cool story. Only has one hand, had the other amputated when he was 5. Was super productive last year and from what I saw on tape, the dude can hit. Senior next year.

  • harding36

    I agree with round 3. He’s actually in my latest mock in round 3.

  • Darth Blount 47

    Haha.. Yeah, I kinda figured on what you had meant. I was just bustin’ your Easter eggs a little. 🙂

    Even though you have your moments, you also have a good sense of humor. And I think I speak for most when I say that is appreciated along with your hard work here.

    I also think like me, you have a pretty good grasp on where you think most of these guys kinda should and maybe even will go. I totally agree that Griffin is a later 3rd, to mid-4th guy. Spot on. But maybe, just maybe, like you also intimated, he may go a tad earlier, if people fall in love with those Combine numbers.

    The twin brother story is cool. Have to keep my eye out for him now.

  • Alex Kozora

    Thanks man! Happy Easter.

  • Darth Blount 47

    And to you and yours, as well!

  • SteelersGeek4Lyfe

    Alex, why is Chidi your favorite Steelers player?! Just curious lol. Happy Easter

  • Alex Kozora

    I’ll admit that in my young age, his unique name was eye-catching. But the more I watched him, the more I appreciated the details of his game. Being such an impact player on special teams that opponents had to gameplan for him. I’ma big special teams proponent and love that part of the game. It’s why I was big fans of Patrick Bailey, Rosie Nix, and Vince Williams.

  • SoCal Steeler

    Glad you did the evaluation, Alex. I think I’d rather get him than Myrick based on the much better ball skills he displays. I think I’d even rather get the Agnew kid from San Diego that Sean wrote up over Myrick now. I don’t believe that you can teach those ball skills that Griffin and Agnew show while Myrick, for all his speed does not. I hope the Steeler’s brass are reading these.

  • Alex Kozora

    I would too. I like Griffin much more than I do Myrick.

  • SoCal Steeler

    I’ve seen more hype on Myrick so hopefully somebody else overdrafts him and we can get Griffin. Hopefully the Steelers are reading and agree.

  • LucasY59

    I have been trying to figure out the CB position in this yrs draft and I really like the group as a whole, but find myself switching who I like best quite often, I think with a little over a week till the Draft I am pretty solid on Awuzie being the one CB that I like best and I think it is his versatility that won me over, I already liked him for his speed and physicality (things that Griffin is very similar to him with) but the thought of him being capable of playing any position in the secondary (outside or slot CB as well as Safety) won me over, and although I think it could be a minor reach he is one of the few CBs I would want in the 1st rd (the other 2 are White and K.King, but there is a good chance both of them are gone, and I am not including guys like Lattimore, Humphrey or Conley as they are top 25 guys IMO)

    back on point with Griffin, I really like the speed/size and the way he plays so if they can get him with the comp or the 4th rd pick I think he would be good value (and be able to contribute as a ST guy at the very least this yr, but also push Cockrell) I dont see Shaq as anything but a Outside CB (so even though he is similar to Chidobe, he isnt as versatile) but depth for the outside is needed and he has potential to develop into a (quality) starter there so that is great for a possible day 3 pick (similar thoughts with Myrick as a slot guy and him being taken a rd later than Griffin by the Steelers, low investment into the position with possibility of good return on both players and good outlook for the future, also allows the top 3-4 picks to be used on other positions)