2021 will be J.D. Griggs’ third season playing for the Pirates. He was First-Team All-NAL in both ‘18 and ‘19. In 2019 Griggs was second in the league with 9.5 sacks and tied for third with 12 tackles for a loss. He led the Pirates defensive line with 26.5 tackles on the season coupled with 7 QB hurries. Griggs also recorded the team’s only safety. In 2018 Griggs again led the Pirates with 8.5 sacks and 5 QB hurries. Pirate fans should expect Griggs to once again dominate the defensive line in 2021.
Griggs’ pro football career began when he signed with the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars as an undrafted free agent in 2013 out of Akron University. He was released and signed with the CFL’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers later in 2013 where he made minor contributions on defense. Griggs then played 9 games for the IFL’s Colorado Crush in 2016. In February 2017 Griggs signed with the Spokane Empire, also in the IFL. He emerged as a force that season, leading the league in sacks and being named First-Team All-IFL.
Griggs played two seasons for the Akron University Zips. In 2012, his senior year, Griggs finished with 41 tackles and 6 QB sacks. He was a bright spot on a team that suffered 11 losses on the season. As a junior in 2011 Griggs played in all 12 games for the Zips recording 28 tackles. His best performance of the season came against Eastern Michigan where Griggs was credited with 6 tackles, 2 for a loss, 1 sack, a fumble recovery, and 1 pass breakup.
Before attending Akron Griggs played for Nassau Community College in New York. In 2010 he helped the Lions achieve a record of 11-0 and become the fourth ranked junior college football team in the nation. Griggs’ 50 tackles and 8 sacks led to him being named All-Northeast Conference. The season was highlighted by the team’s invitation to play in the Governor’s Bowl. Griggs played his freshman football season at the University of Iowa as a tight end, but did not record any catches. Griggs is entering his age-30 season.