The week before the draft is the time to find the jersey of your team’s first-round pick, and the list of top-selling jerseys after this draft includes the players you’d expect: quarterbacks and New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley.
There’s also a rookie jersey in the top five that has a little more meaning than most.
Seattle Seahawks rookie outside linebacker Shaquem Griffin, who was born with amniotic band syndrome had his left hand amputated when he was 4 years old, has the fifth-highest selling NFL rookie jersey at Fanatics according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell. That’s a rare and very high ranking for a fifth-round pick like Griffin. Griffin has been given No. 49 to start his career.
Rovell said the top four jerseys as of Tuesday morning were Barkley, quarterback Baker Mayfield of the Cleveland Browns, quarterback Sam Darnold of the New York Jets and quarterback Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills, who were all drafted in the top 10 and play high-profile positions. That means Griffin ranks ahead of Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen, the No. 10 overall pick, and 32nd pick Lamar Jackson, a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback who went to the Baltimore Ravens. Griffin is also ahead of other defensive stars like Bradley Chubb and Denzel Ward, and dozens of skill-position players.
Clearly, Griffin’s story resonates with a larger audience. He has been an inspiration to many, and NFL Network shared many of those stories when Griffin was finally drafted in the fifth round. When he was drafted on Saturday, it was one of the best moments of the entire draft. Griffin went to Seattle, which has a devoted fan base that probably bought up plenty of those Griffin jerseys. You also have to assume there are a lot of new Seahawks fans since the draft, thanks to Griffin.
Griffin, who was reunited with twin brother Shaquill on the Seahawks when he was drafted by them, has had a great football career already, even with just one hand. He was the American Athletic Conference defensive player of the year with Central Florida last season. He had 18.5 sacks his last two seasons at UCF. Griffin really turned heads at the NFL scouting combine, running a 4.38-second 40-yard dash — that’s the fastest ever officially recorded for a linebacker at the combine — and did 20 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press using a prosthetic attached to the bar. At every step Griffin’s story got more attention, and it’s a wonderful and uplifting story to share. His positive attitude has been infectious.
There will be a lot of Griffin jerseys around, and it’s a good bet they’ll be spotted in places far from Seattle. A lot of people are rooting for the feel-good story of the draft.
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