Shaquem Griffin: Being drafted by Seattle 'like I was dreaming'

One-handed linebacker arrives at draft with message for NFL

There isn't a Seahawk player I'll ever root for more than Shaquem Griffin, the linebacker Seattle chose out of Central Florida in the fifth round of the NFL Draft.

The remarkable part of the story?

Griffin's left hand was amputated when he was four years old because of a rare birth defect called Amniotic Band Syndrome - where a limb or digits are entangled in amniotic fibers in the womb. Being able to play fast and having a high football IQ are something that will aid Shaquem as he learns the ropes at the professional level. "We're going to count on him to be a big factor on special teams, which he has shown us that he has a great knack for".

The incredible story of Shaquem Griffin is well known by now.

Shaquill, who was a third-round pick by the Seahawks in 2017, became a starter in his rookie season.

Sports Illustrated captured a photo of the twin brothers embracing after receiving the news.

But he said he would "wait all over again" to be able to play on the same team as his brother again.

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And while they might have been tempted to tab Griffin with their first pick Saturday, number 120 in the fourth round, they instead used that one to select tight end Will Dissly of the University of Washington.

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was one of the first players to welcome Shaquem to the family, tweeting via his @DangeRussWilson Twitter account: "Wow".

"I hope I am an inspiration for people, to see I can do whatever I want".

Shaquem gained worldwide attention at the NFL Combine in March when he ran the ran the quickest 40-yard dash for a linebacker since 2003.

The phone call from Seattle general manager John Schneider set off a wild celebration within the Griffin family, which had gathered at a hotel in the Dallas area after Shaquem spent the first two days at the draft in Arlington, Texas, waiting for a phone call that never came. "I'm glad that I have an opportunity to be here".

Griffin also bench-pressed 225 pounds (102kg) 20 times, three more than his twin had managed, having attached a prosthetic hand onto the bar.

"I couldn't breathe. I didn't know how to talk, I mean, I was just lost for words".

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