There was a reason he slipped lower than some expected, but Shaquem Griffin's feel-good story continued Saturday as the Seattle Seahawks drafted the Central Florida linebacker with the 141st pick of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Despite playing with only one hand, Griffin was very productive in college and his stock soared after a tremendous workout at the NFL Combine at Indianapolis, which included a blazing time of 4.38 seconds for 40 yards.
He moved into the top 100 on many boards and was rated as a third-round pick. However, NFLDdraftScout.com learned that Griffin's great clocking at the combine was incorrect because the clock started a little late. It was estimated his time was closer to 4.58 seconds.
Still a good time, but not in that elite 4.3-second territory. But, on balance, it made only a little difference in his overall rating and because he was THE feel-good story at the combine, the timing incident was not reported.
However, NFLDraftScout.com learned that many teams repositioned him on draft boards but still considered Griffin an excellent prospect. For them, his so-called slide from the top 100 to 141 was no surprise, but his on-field credentials predict he will be productive in the NFL.
Griffin, who had his left hand amputated as a child, overcame it in winning the American Athletic Conference's Defensive Player of the Year and turned heads at the NFL Draft Combine in March.
-- Former NFL player, broadcaster and general manager Matt Millen may need a heart transplant because of a rare illness.
Millen, 60, told the Morning Call on Saturday that he has amyloidosis, a rare condition that has caused serious damage to his heart. Despite that, Millen said he is in good spirits and optimistic he will continue to work as an analyst with the Big Ten Network.
Millen starred at Penn State, before enjoying a 12-year NFL career as a linebacker with the Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers and Washington Redskins. After his playing career, he spent several years as an NFL color analyst. He was general manager of the Detroit Lions from 2001 to 2008.
Dallas shipped a sixth-round selection (No. 192 overall) in exchange for Austin, who never could find a role last season in first-year coach Sean McVay's offense.
The Cowboys were in need of help at wideout after releasing Dez Bryant earlier this month.
Austin was limited to a career-worst 13 receptions for 47 yards last season for the NFC West champion Rams, although he did finish second on the team in rushing with 270 yards and a touchdown on 59 carries. The No. 8 overall selection in the 2013 NFL Draft established a career high with 58 receptions for 509 yards in 2016.
-- Even though his health was a major concern, the Oakland Raiders selected Michigan defensive tackle Maurice Hurst in the fifth round of the NFL Draft.
Hurst, one of the top prospects at his position, was sent home from the NFL Combine in Indianapolis when irregularities in his heart were detected, putting his future in jeopardy. However, the 6-foot-2, 282-pound Hurst subsequently received medical clearance to resume playing football and was allowed to participate fully in Michigan's Pro Day last month.
The Raiders hope their gamble pays off as they took Hurst No. 140th overall. Hurst was listed as the third-best defensive tackle and No. 21 overall prospect in Rob Rang's rankings by NFLDraftScout.com. Hurst earned All-America honors and was a consensus first-team All-Big Ten selection for the Wolverines last season after racking up 59 tackles, including 13 for loss, and 5.5 sacks.
-- How soon Sam Darnold is ready to take over the starting reins with the New York Jets became a subject of debate the minute the USC quarterback was taken with the No. 3 overall pick in Thursday's NFL Draft.
The learning curve is steep for any college quarterback ascending to the next level, but Darnold already has one hurdle cleared: not having to deal with a freeze-out by an incumbent.
There have been numerous examples of high-profile quarterbacks who balked at showing their successor-in-waiting what it takes to succeed in the NFL, but that won't be the case with the Jets, perhaps because current starter Josh McCown spent much of his career carrying a clipboard and serving in that backup role.
"The best thing I can do is look back in five years and Sam Darnold is in the Pro Bowl," McCown told the New York Daily News.
McCown will turn 39 in July and he's aware that the clock is already ticking on his hold with the starting job, due to the soaring expectations surrounding Darnold.
-- The Detroit Lions' new coaching staff did not waste much time addressing a lingering problem. Needing to bolster a ground game that ranked last in the league a year ago, the Lions traded up in the second round to snag Auburn running back Kerryon Johnson with the No. 43 selection in the NFL Draft.
New head coach Matt Patricia, the defensive coordinator for the New England Patriots before taking over the Lions, turned to his former team to move up eight slots in the second round. Detroit sent the 51st overall pick and a fourth-round selection (No. 117) to New England in exchange for the rights to snare Johnson, the SEC Offensive Player of the Year last season.
Johnson was rated the No. 6 overall running back by NFLDraftScout senior analyst Rob Rang and fills a huge need for Detroit, which averaged a paltry 76.3 yards rushing last season -- by far the worst in the NFL. The 5-foot-11, 213-pound Johnson rushed for 1,391 yards and 18 touchdowns last season for Auburn, including 11 scores in a three-game span.
-- Though Kentavius Street had surgery in March to repair a torn ACL, the San Francisco 49ers used the No. 128 pick in the NFL Draft on the North Carolina State defensive lineman.
Street was injured while working out with the New York Giants in March. He had surgery on March 17 and will likely miss his rookie season as it typically requires about nine months of recovery time.
Street, who can play either tackle or end, was rated the 13th-best defensive tackle prospect in the draft by NFLDraftScout.com, which accurately projected he would be selected in the fourth round. He had 19.5 tackles for loss and 8.0 sacks in his four seasons at North Carolina State.
-- The Denver Broncos have a history of unearthing 1,000-yard backs in the later rounds of the NFL Draft.
Team president and general manager John Elway thinks he added another to that list with the selection of Oregon's Royce Freeman in the third round.
The Broncos did have a 1,000-yard rusher last season in C.J. Anderson, who was released in a cost-cutting move after a number of attempts to trade him fell through.
Freeman, a 5-foot-11, 229-pounder, was ranked the No. 9 running back by NFLDraftScout senior analyst Rob Rang and provides Denver exactly what it needs, Elway told the team's official website Friday night. He was a touchdown machine for the Ducks, establishing a Pac-12 record with 60 rushing scores in four seasons while becoming the school's careeer leading rusher with 5,621 yards.
-- Off-field issues. Checkered past. Questions about character. Such issues routinely showed up on the resumes of Oakland Raiders players, so they certainly didn't deter new head coach Jon Gruden from taking defensive end Arden Key in the third round of the NFL Draft.
Once projected as a first-round selection by NFL DraftScout senior analyst Rob Rang, Key saw his stock dip because of myriad issues, including a decline in production, injuries and, most notably, checking himself into rehab clinic to deal with a reported marijuana problem.
The 6-foot-5, 238-pound Key, who opted to forgo his senior season at Louisiana State to enter the draft, wound up his career third on the school's sacks list with 21.