Everson Griffen official NFL bio

The official NFL bio of Vikings fourth-round draft pick Everson Griffen.

EVERSON GRIFFEN
Defensive End
University of Southern California Trojans
6:03.3-273
Avondale, Arizona
Agua Fria High School


OVERVIEW

Everson Griffen is a powerful player who can also rush the passer. While he can pressure the quarterback with the best of them, his value comes in his ability to be an every-down player. He has amazing athleticism and is very nimble for a player his size, but also has the strength to hold up vs. the run.

His power and explosion off the snap makes it tough for offensive tackles to move him off the ball. He boasts a powerful initial punch and has quick, active hands to disengage blockers and make plays.

What makes Griffen unique is his exceptional athleticism and speed off the edge that also allows him to rush the passer on third down. In 2009, five of his seven sacks came on third downs and forced punts.

"Quickness is my strength," Griffen noted. "I can knock away offensive linemen's hands before they put them on me. When it comes to making sacks, I don't know how to explain it, because it's the greatest feeling in the world. When you're coming off the edge and the quarterback doesn't see you, it's like a free shot to heaven."

Griffen is the ideal every-down defensive end in a 4-3 scheme that doesn't need to be heavily rotated. He can anchor vs. the run or rush the passer no matter the situation. His outstanding size and strength vs. the run also displays potential for him to play the defensive end position in a 3-4 defensive alignment. He has seen time in both formations during his collegiate career at USC. It's this versatility that makes him an intriguing prospect.

Griffen prepped at Agua Fria High School, where he was one of the most sought-after recruits in the country. The Super Prep and Scout.com Player of the Year racked up 77 tackles, 16.0 sacks, and one fumble recovery on defense, and 1,251 yards with 20 touchdowns on 159 carries (7.9 ypc) on offense. He earned Parade, EA Sports, Super Prep, Prep Star, Scout.com and Tom Lemming Prep Football report All-American honors. Griffen also received Super Prep Elite 50, Prep Star 100, Rivals.com 100, Super Prep All-Farwest, Prep Star All-West, Scout.com All-West, Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West, Orange County Register Fab 15, Tacoma News-Tribune Western 100 and Gatorade Arizona Player of the Year honors. He was rated a five-star prospect and listed as the top defensive end in country by Rivals.com and Scout.com.

Griffen chose to attend Southern California over offers from many other schools, including Notre Dame and Michigan. He enrolled in 2007, playing in 12 games with two starts, becoming the first true freshman to start a season-opener on the defensive line since Tim Ryan in 1986. He had a stellar first year as he racked up 21 tackles and 5.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and two pass deflections.

He was named to the 2007 The Sporting News, Football Writers Association, Rivals.com, Scout.com and College Football News Freshman All-American teams. Griffen was also named The Sporting News Pac-10 Defensive Freshman of the Year and was an All-Pac-10 Conference honorable mention.

As a sophomore in 2008, Griffen played in 12 games, starting the first three, as he recorded 18 tackles, including six for losses, with 4.5 sacks. He recorded sacks vs. Ohio State, Oregon, Arizona State, Arizona, and California, as a key piece to a defense that ranked second nationally allowing, just 221.77 total yards of offense per game.

Griffen started 12 games in 2009. He earned a second-team All-Pac-10 Conference honors, as he racked up 45 tackles with 8.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, seven sacks, one forced fumble, a fumble recovery, one pass breakup, and a quarterback pressure.

The junior's best game of the year came in a win vs. Notre Dame, when he registered four tackles, two sacks, and one quarterback hurry. The defensive end finished the season tied for 48th nationally with an average of .58 sacks per game. Former USC head coach Pete Carroll praised Griffen after the Notre Dame game, stating, "He's now playing the best that he's ever played. He's utilizing his great speed and explosiveness. He looks to be a real factor. He's fast, really fast at getting to the quarterback."

CAREER NOTES

Griffen started 17 of 36 contests at Southern California, recording 84 tackles (48 solos) with 18 sacks for minus 119 yards, 21 stops for losses totaling 127 yards, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and three pass deflections…Also recorded one quarterback pressure…When Griffen started vs. Idaho in 2007, he became the first true freshman to start a season-opener on the defensive line for the Trojans since Tim Ryan in 1986…His 3.5 sacks vs. Oregon State in 2007 were the most sacks by a Trojan since Tim Ryan had 4.0 vs. UCLA in 1989.

2009 SEASON

Griffen earned All-Pac 10 Conference second-team honors from the league's coaches…Started 12 games at right defensive end…His average of .58 sacks per game ranked seventh in the conference and tied for 48th nationally…Recorded a career-high 45 tackles (22 solos), including eight sacks for minus 50 yards and 9.5 stops for losses totaling 54 yards…Also registered a quarterback pressure…Forced one fumble and recovered another, advancing the ball 9 yards…Also deflected one pass…Added eleven third-down stops, including eight vs. the run and one fourth-down hit…Posted eight of his hits inside the red zone, including four on goal-line plays…Allowed seven first downs and two touchdowns on 39 running plays he was involved in, as those runners gained 96 yards (2.46 ypc).

2008 SEASON

Griffen started the first three games at right defensive end before shifting to a pass rush specialist role, seeing action at both end positions as Clay Matthews took over as a starter with Kyle Moore…Recorded 18 tackles (11 solos) with 4.5 sacks for minus 39 yards and six stops for losses of 43 yards.

2007 SEASON

Named to The Sporting News Freshman, Football Writers Association, Rivals.com and Scout.com Freshman All-American first-team, adding second-team honors from College Football News….The Sporting News named Griffen the Pac-10 Conference Defensive Freshman of the Year and the league's coaches chose the youngster as an All-Pac-10 honorable mention…Played in 13 games, starting two contests…When he started vs. Idaho, he became the first Trojan true freshman to start a season opener since Tim Ryan in 1986…Recorded 21 tackles (15 solos) while sharing right defensive end chores with Kyle Moore…Posted 5.5 sacks for minus 30 yards, as he caused two fumbles, recovered another and deflected two passes.

CAMPUS AGILITY TESTS

4.70 in the 40-yard dash…1.59 10-yard dash…2.73 20-yard dash…4.24 20-yard shuttle…7.12 three-cone drill…32-inch vertical jump…9'5" broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 32 times…32 5/8-inch arm length…10-inch hands.

HIGH SCHOOL

Attended Agua Fria High School (Avondale, Az.), playing football for head coach Kelly Epley…His 2006 honors included Super Prep Player of the Year and Scout.com Player of the Year honors…Parade, EA Sports, Super Prep, Prep Star, Scout.com and Tom Lemming Prep Football Report All-American first-team choice…Added Super Prep Elite 50, Prep Star 100, Rivals.com 100, Super Prep All-Farwest, Prep Star All-West, Scout.com All-West, Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West first team, Orange County Register Fab 15 first team, Tacoma News-Tribune Western 100 and Gatorade Arizona Player of the Year accolades…As a senior, he registered 77 tackles, 16.0 sacks, and one fumble recovery on defense while rushing for 1,251 yards and 20 touchdowns on 159 carries (7.9 ypc) and catching six passes with two touchdowns on offense…Had 70 tackles, six sacks and three fumble recoveries on defense and ran for 794 yards on 132 carries (6.1 ypc) with 10 touchdowns while coming up with 168 receiving yards on offense as a junior…Received a five-star rating and ranked as the nation's best defensive end prospect by Scout.com… Also given a five-star rating and ranked as the nation's best defensive end prospect and best prospect in Arizona, as well as the sixth-best overall prospect in the country by Rivals.com…Earned first-team All-Region honors in basketball…Competed in the shot put for the track team as a sophomore.

PERSONAL

Public Policy, Management and Planning major…Son of Sabrina Scott…Cousin is former Arizona State tailback Keegan Herring…Born 12/22/87…Resides in Avondale, Arizona.


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