First Round DNA on the Second Day
(Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
(Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Posted Feb 21, 2008
Charlie Bernstein

There is a safety prospect in this year's draft that will likely be selected in day two that we can definitively say has first-round DNA. His name is Marcus Griffin and the Jaguars should be looking at him.

Every team in the NFL is looking for the next steal in the draft, the next sixth-round quarterback that will eventually lead his team to four Super Bowls, like Tom Brady, or the next seventh-round running back to gain nearly 1000 yards while starting just seven games, like Ryan Grant. Or better yet, the next fourth-round pick to collect over 15 sacks like Jared Allen.

Marcus Griffin is the twin brother of Titans 2007 first-round pick Michael Griffin, who had a fine rookie season in Tennessee. The younger of the two Griffin's, Marcus (by just a few minutes), is a very athletic player who has experience at both safety positions. Griffin's measurables show him as 5'11", 198 lbs., with 40 times being clocked as low as the 4.4's.

Marcus is a cerebral player, who may be best at strong safety in the pro game, due to his tackling ability and sheer willingness to attack the line of scrimmage against the run. Griffin isn't afraid to mix it up with blockers, and has good lateral quickness. Here's what Draft Expert Chris Steuber had to say about Griffin-

"Marcus is an experienced defender who brings playmaking ability to the next level. Griffin has been very productive during his career at Texas and enjoyed a senior season where he had five interceptions. He participated in the Senior Bowl and showed good quickness and instincts and played well all week long. He's consistent, and scouts will enjoy his personality in Indianapolis."

So if the younger Marcus has the exact DNA of his brother, who was a first-round pick, why is he not projected to go until the second day? Some scouts say he has trouble mirroring defenders, doesn't have instant acceleration, which could leave him susceptible to play-action, and he isn't an elite athlete for the position of free safety.

With the Jaguars having a perceived need at safety with an inexperienced Gerald Sensabaugh coming off a season ending shoulder injury, and Jamaal Fudge being the only other option (aside from last year's first-round pick Reggie Nelson), if a player of Griffin's attributes were to be available to the team on the second day they would have to more than consider pulling the proverbial trigger. Griffin looks the part, at least his brother did for the Titans last year, and he could turn into a second day steal.

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