ProFootballDoc: Does Hand Size Matter?

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Kenny Pickett’s hand size measured at 8.5 inches at the NFL Combine. What does this mean if anything?

First, his hand did not grow. Last time he was measured at 8.25″ inches. By reaching and stretching, one can measure slightly longer just as my kids stand up extra tall to be able to go on a rollercoaster. Besides a quarter inch is probably within measurement error.

We explained how hand size is measured earlier in the week here:

Because of the documented “stiffness” in his thumb, Pickett’s hand measures “smaller,” but his effective size is larger as you don’t grip a football with an open palm. Much like a player may have a slower 40 yard dash time but has game speed.

The NFL football is slightly bigger than in college and thus the reason for concern. Pickett does have a history of fumbling in college and scouts will pay close attention when he throws at his Pro Day to see how the ball comes out of his hand.

Joe Burrow had 9″ hand size and there was concern at combines two years ago and that obviously has been a non issue. However, 8.5″ inches would have Pickett in the zero percentile of NFL quarterbacks.

Written by Dr. David Chao

David Chao, MD -- known digitally as Pro Football Doc -- is an expert contributor for Outkick. Chao spent 17 seasons as the team doctor for the San Diego Chargers (1997-2013) and is part of the medical team at OASIS in San Diego where he treats and specializes in orthopedic sports injuries, working with high-profile professional athletes from the NFL, NBA, and MLB.

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