When I draft my DE, I am looking for that every down player with a high ceiling. The epitome of a big play specialist. My goal is to draft a plug and play talent expecting the stats to come week in and week out. By extension, a DE who teams need to game plan against is the guy I want. I want my player to move around the defensive front and get the best match ups. Everson Griffin is that kind of player for me.
He was a play maker in college at USC. Starting out as a pass rush specialist he quickly showed off his speed and strength by consistently getting into the back field and making plays. Speed is just something you’re born with guys. Using his turbo to move around the offensive tackle or moving between linemen he at times is simply too much to handle. In the 2007 Army Bowl, Griffen blew past a double team using his speed to set up a quick burst between them. Watch that here. Those skills, he learned and developed in college, have been molded and fine-tuned in the NFL.
At twenty-eight years of age he has plenty of years left at the peak of his career, while standing 6’3 and tipping the scales at 273 lbs. of hardened muscle and playmaking skills, he sure fits the mold of a stud DE. He was drafted in 2010, in the fourth round and Minnesota has been well rewarded for drafting him.
Upon entering the NFL, Griffen spent time learning the game and working on his technique. In limited snaps he managed 11 tackles in 11 games. It’s okay though… it takes time to master the NFL game and tempo. Going into 2011 with more confidence, he played in all 16 games. Using is hyper speed he was able to get to the QB for 4 sacks. In 2012 those sack numbers doubled. Stud in the making right? Struggling through the 2013 season the best was still yet to come. Entering the 2014 season those questions were answered. Any doubt people may have had about his status as a player in the NFL would be put to rest. Griffin had arrived! Pro bowl season! Blowing up opposing linemen for 12 sacks, Griffin was showcased his amazing skill set. The hard work had paid off.
Personally, one of the stats I love for impact defensive players is QB pressures. Why is that a better stat then sacks or tackles? It shows that the player is around the QB and is close to making those coveted sacks we all desperately want to see. In 2015, Griffin dominated his way for 26 pressures. That’s 12 more than during his 2014 All-Pro season. I have heard people talking about a down year in the 2015 season. I don’t believe it was. In 15 games he had 10.5 sacks and played with an injured shoulder. More importantly, the numbers show he was around the QB, often.
This shows what I am talking about. In this play Griffin lines up over the guard, highlighting his strength and hustle to get to the QB right up the middle. This is the type of play that gets me pumped up. The speed he has is unbelievable. Here you see his turbo moving on a stunt and he is right in the QB’s face during a team practice. This guy can move!
Looking ahead at the 2016 season I expect another dominant season. Double digit (10) sacks would be my floor. In IDP drafts, he was being selected in the tenth round, as the DE7. Currently, Griffin has worked himself up draft boards. In fact, he is going in the eighth round, as the DE5. It’s right about where I would be looking to add my impact foundation player for my IDP defense.
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