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Seahawks continue to put pieces ahead of Shaquem Griffin

Divisional Round - Seattle Seahawks v Green Bay Packers Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Shaquem Griffin has been pleasantly effective as an NFL athlete and the Seattle Seahawks should use him more.

Griffin averaged a pressure on 13.3% of his attempts last season. That’s very good. It’s higher than recent rumored target Everson Griffen, among many others.

He’s just not been in the game plan.

Below is the 2018 game-by-game snap count for Shaquem Griffin. Week one remains Griffin’s career outlier, as the ill-fated game in which he started for the injured KJ Wright. If you don’t remember that game against the Denver Broncos, it um, didn’t go great. Griffin was just a little overwhelmed in assignments and it was costly.

After that, Griffin was used well on special teams but was nonexistent on defense. It’s hard to say with certainty that a rookie Week 1 poor performance led exclusively to his lack of play time, especially since he’s not meant to be a coverage linebacker. Regardless, Griffin’s rookie season was relegated to teams.

Which is fine.

Except it continued for another nine weeks through 2019.

So here in 2020, Shaquem Griffin finds himself in a franchise-induced predicament.

Take a moment to remember his pedigree:

  • 2018 Peach Bowl Defensive MVP, and it wasn’t close
  • Fastest 40 time posted by a linebacker in NFL Combine History
  • Had TWO college seasons registering a ridiculous 11.5 and 7.0 sacks, from 2016-17

After two years, instead of knowing what the team might now about Griffin, instead of helping him find his place on a team completely starved for pass rush, he is set to be a deep rotational piece once again.

The Seahawks added two pass rushers in Bruce Irvin and Benson Mayowa through free agency. They drafted DE Darrell Taylor and spent a first-round pick on linebacker Jordyn Brooks. They’ve got some dude named L.J. Collier that needs to play at some point because they already owe him a bunch of money. Believe it or not, Rasheem Green is still here.

This is not an indictment on any of those players, or even necessarily the rationale in acquiring them. Yes, Shaquem Griffin was a fifth-round pick, and business is business.

But it’s bewildering. Considering what Griffin really did well in college, and his success on limited opportunity. Seattle seems content to have not given him a serious chance.

I’m holding out hope based on the fact that Griffin did not see significant time until his third collegiate year, either. But the log-jam in front of him is not encouraging.

I think this is the year to give an honest look at what Griffin can do with real responsibility coming off the line. The question will be if the management feels tied to the money and draft capital they’ve spent on all the others surrounding him.

While we await Pete Carroll to make the right choice this year, revel in this recap of Griffin’s 2019 highlights from Field Gulls’ own Alistair Corp. It’s a beauty.