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Quarterback hand size again a focus at NFL Combine after Pickett measurement

Former Pitt QB Kenny Pickett made headlines for his surprising hand size at the NFL Combine Thursday. How do they measure hand size and why does it matter?

INDIANAPOLIS — On Thursday morning the NFL community let out an audible groan as the first hand size headline came out of the NFL Combine in Indianapolis: Former Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett has small hands.

Every year at the NFL Combine, quarterbacks hoping to get drafted get their hand size measured and every year there seems to be some sort of headline.

This year's is actually somewhat interesting, with Pickett, because as Locked On Cowboys podcast co-host Marcus Mosher points out, there have only been nine quarterbacks who have had a hand size under nine inches at the NFL Combine since 1999. And it's not exactly good company for Kenny Pickett after his hand size was recorded at 8.5 inches.

Those are smaller hands than any current NFL quarterback. 

"Whatever it measures, it measures," Pickett said at the combine. "I’m sure that won’t be the last of it. But it’ll be the last measurement I take of it."

Pickett was a Heisman Trophy Finalist at Pittsburgh last season after throwing for 4,319 yards, 42 touchdowns and just seven interceptions. He's expected to be a first or second round pick.

Or at least he was until his hands were measured. (That's a joke)

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Why do they measure hand size at the NFL Combine? 

The reason for hand size measurements is basically because of the idea that with a bigger hand, a quarterback would technically get more grip on the ball. This could play a role in weather-related situations or just general ball security.

At the NFL Combine, they measure hands by taking a tape measure from the tip of the thumb to the pinky finger with the hand outstretched.

The average hand size for a male is 8.5 inches.

But, most quarterbacks historically at the combine seem to have hands that measure at least over nine inches.

But let's not forget, Joe Burrow's hands measured at nine inches exactly at the NFL Combine, something that became a quick narrative before the quarterback was drafted No. 1 overall and then two years later took his team to the Super Bowl.

Patrick Mahomes, who won an MVP and arguably has the best arm of anyone in the NFL, had his hands measured a 9.25 inches, which some would consider small.

So, does it matter? Probably not. It's not great company to be in for Pickett, of quarterbacks since 1999 that have had smaller hands. But, in the end, it's unlikely to play a role in his draft position..

After all, Pickett did just have a Heisman finalist caliber season at Pitt, which is a cold weather location.

The "handspan" is a story every year, but in the end, it really won't matter. Probably.

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