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Seahawks Draft Picks 2017: The upside and downside of Shaq Griffin

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2017 NFL Draft Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

With their first of four picks in round three, the Seattle Seahawks addressed the cornerback position and selected Shaq Griffin from the University of Central Florida. Griffin, a two-year starter for the Knights, fits the mold of a Seahawk corner on paper: six-feet tall, 32 ⅜” arms and a 74 ¾” wingspan. After hitting on an interior rusher with their first selection and going to the offensive line for the second, Seattle has checked the third box on their list of pressing needs in Griffin.

The Upside

Griffin nails the Seahawk ideals of a cornerback, he is an outstanding athlete - the seventh highest SPARQ score of all cornerbacks in his class - and has the ball skills to boot. With 36 pass breakups and seven interceptions in his career at UCF, Griffin consistently displayed the kind of ball skills that will have him fitting into the Legion of Boom like a football fits into Richard Sherman’s waiting hands.

CBS Sports’ Dane Brugler may have put it even better in his annual draft guide:

“...locates the ball and attacks the catch point with better ball skills than several of the receivers he covered on film.”

Despite not being one of the big names in a loaded cornerback class, Griffin’s combination of ball skills, length and athleticism has to be a tantalizing prospect for Pete Carroll, and Griffin will have a handful of brilliant football minds at his disposal while he learns the pro game.

The Downside

It’s tough to not be excited about the project Carroll’s just added, but if there is pause for concern it would be this: the biggest knock on Griffin in college was his discipline and a lack of anticipation. Learning Seattle’s kick-step technique is difficult enough, so if Griffin’s technique was getting away from him in college, he’s got a steep test ahead of him.

Getting taught the technique Seahawk corners use is a learning curve even for veteran players, so there will surely be bumps in the road for Griffin. But he has all the makings of a Seattle Seahawk cornerback, and now it’s official.