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90 players in 90 days: Cornerback Olaijah Griffin

The slightly-built corner reminds me of another Buffalo UDFA

Washington State v USC Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills hit the equivalent of UDFA gold in 2018 when they signed Levi Wallace to a contract. Wallace may not be a star player, but to go from a walk-on at Alabama to an undrafted free-agent signing in the NFL, to a legitimate professional starter is an impressive feat. It’s certainly not the normal career arc for undrafted players, who rarely make much impact early in their time in the league.

Could the Bills find another gem in the post-draft signings scrum? In today’s edition of “90 players in 90 days,” we profile one of those undrafted free-agent corners looking to make the roster or practice squad as a rookie.

Name: Olaijah (pronounced uh-LIE-jhuh) Griffin

Number: 37

Position: CB

Height/Weight: 6’ 175 lbs

Age: 22 (23 on 3/10/2022)

Experience/Draft: R; signed with Buffalo as UDFA following 2021 NFL Draft

College: USC

Acquired: UDFA signing

Financial situation (per Spotrac): Griffin’s deal totals three years in length and is worth $2.46 million. Buffalo gave Griffin a $70,000 signing bonus, a sizeable chunk for an undrafted player. If he makes the 2021 roster, Griffin will carry a salary cap number of $671,666. The Bills will be on the hook for a $70,000 dead-cap charge if Griffin is released.

2020 Recap: Griffin played in all six of USC’s games during his junior year. He made 22 tackles, one for loss, and broke up three passes. Griffin also notched his first career interception. Griffin was unable to participate in USC’s Pro Day due to a positive COVID-19 test, one that he believed was a false positive given a number of negative results following that initial positive. When he did complete testing, he ran a 4.53-second 40-yard dash, showed off a 34” vertical jump and a broad jump of nearly 10’, and a three-cone time of 7.04 seconds.

Positional outlook: Griffin joins a positional group full of young talent. Headed by Tre’Davious White, Griffin will try to make the roster along with incumbent starters Levi Wallace and Taron Johnson, second-year man Dane Jackson, and Siran Neal, Rachad Wildgoose Jr., Cam Lewis, and Nick McCloud.

2021 Offseason: Griffin is healthy and participated in OTAs.

2021 Season outlook: Griffin is interesting in the sense that he is reminiscent of another Bills UDFA: potential teammate Levi Wallace. Griffin doesn’t have great size or great speed, but he does have great fight. I’ve somehow managed to make it through this whole writeup without making a G-Funk joke, too, as Griffin is the son of rapper, producer, and writer of one of the best songs of the ‘90s, Warren G (Lance Zierlein couldn’t help it, calling Griffin a “Regulator” in man coverage in his pre-draft scouting report). He is a touch faster than Wallace, though he’s not quite as long as the rangy Alabama product. A year on the practice squad is probably the route for Griffin, as the signing bonus should indicate that the Bills want him in the program. I don’t think his place is on the roster this year, but with some seasoning and a real NFL strength and conditioning program, Griffin could develop into viable depth in the future.