According to The Advocate’s Nick Underhill, the New Orleans Saints have finally signed Air Force tight end Garrett Griffin.
It was nearly a month ago when the news first broke of Griffin joining the team. However, there was a setback involving a two-year military commitment for Griffin, which was to begin with time in Wyoming serving as a missile maintenance officer. Underhill added that Griffin still needs to be cleared by the Air Force to play, and that a ruling has not been made.
The Saints were one of several teams interested in Griffin leading up to the NFL Draft. The Air Force product, who doubles as a long snapper, had reported interest from the Detroit Lions, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Kansas City Chiefs, and Denver Broncos in addition to the black and gold.
Griffin was one of 44 tryout players from a three-day rookie minicamp in May. The team waived Mitchell Loewen, who Underhill noted had a non-football injury.
Garrett Griffin’s college journey was nothing short of interesting, as he originally started as a linebacker during his freshman season. He was quickly moved to tight end due to his athleticism. At his Pro Day, Griffin turned in a 4.75 second 40-yard dash time, which is pretty good for a 6-foot-4, 237-pound tight end.
According to Air Force offensive coordinator Mike Thiessen, Griffin was a huge piece of their running game, being able to establish himself at the point of attack. Scouts and analysts project Griffin as an effective H-back/fullback, somewhat similar to what Michael Hoomanawanui did for the Saints last season.
Current long snapper Justin Drescher turned 28 in January, so the intrigue is there for how the Saints would use Griffin. The newly acquired Coby Fleener, veteran Michael Hoomanawanui, and established Josh Hill figure to hold down the top spots at tight end right now. The Saints also have Chris Manhertz and Jack Tabb at tight end heading into 2016.