The Seahawks selected Griffin in the fifth round of the NFL draft with the 141st overall pick on Saturday. He told ESPN that he was speechless when he was called by the Seahawks.
"I couldn't breathe," said Griffin, who played outside linebacker at UCF. "I didn't know what to say. I was trying to get the words out, but I couldn't talk."
Griffin had his left hand amputated at age 4 because of amniotic band syndrome, a congenital condition. A two-year starter at UCF and a first-team All-American Athletic Conference selection both seasons, he was the AAC's Defensive Player of the Year in 2016 and was named the defensive MVP of the Peach Bowl, which completed UCF's 13-0 2017 season.
Griffin was a late addition to the list of NFL scouting combine invitees, getting his formal invitation on Jan. 30.
Both Griffin brothers were visibly emotional upon learning that Shaquem had been drafted by the Seahawks.
"I don't think I cried on my draft day," said Shaquill, a cornerback who also played at UCF and was drafted by the Seahawks in the third round (90th overall) last year. "I couldn't hold it. I just couldn't hold it. I'm excited, and I'm glad we made that choice and we're bringing my brother back home."
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said having Shaquill on the team was a factor in drafting Shaquem, only insofar as they knew what they'd be getting because of their familiarity with Shaquill.
"They own this extraordinary connection that I think also is a demonstration of love and heart and all of the cool things about what they represent," Carroll said, noting that Shaquill didn't campaign much for Seattle to draft his brother. "[Shaquem] overcame a tremendous amount by just believing in himself, and I think the belief of his brother in him, as well, which is obvious, was also part of all of that. It's a great story."
Carroll said the team will put Shaquem at weakside linebacker, where K.J. Wright is the starter, and will try to put him in spots where he can utilize his speed.
Shaquem ran the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds at the combine, the fastest time by a linebacker in more than a decade. He also did 20 repetitions of 225 pounds in the bench press, using a prosthetic on his left arm to attach to the bar.
Beyond the drills, Carroll said the Seahawks were impressed by Shaquem's interview at the combine.
"I don't know that I've ever been in a more inspirational interview that we do at the combine than that one," he said. "He was just so expressive and so open to tell his story and to tell what this opportunity meant to him in such a way that he moved us, just like those of you that have watched him. He's an extraordinary young man."
Asked about waiting until the fifth round to be drafted, Shaquem told ESPN it was worth it to be reunited with Shaquill.
"I would wait all over again for the opportunity to be back with my brother," he said. "This is not the end of my road ... it's only just the beginning. And I'm going to keep proving people wrong because I have a lot of people to prove wrong, a lot of doubters."
ESPN's Brady Henderson contributed to this report.