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Iowa’s Reiff has short arms for a left tackle

Riley Reiff AP

Arm length is a prominent measurable for offensive linemen because it provides a glimpse of “reach” in pass protection. While arm length is not necessarily indicative of NFL success, it is a concern for teams as they attempt to project linemen to tackle or guard in the pros.

Riley Reiff of Iowa is widely viewed as the second best left tackle prospect in the 2012 draft. But he measured in at the Combine with 33 1/4-inch arms, which is considered short for an NFL left tackle.

Some left tackles have overcome short arms, most notably Joe Thomas of the Browns. In terms of teams’ college-to-pro projections, however, Reiff may now be listed on some boards as a right tackle only, or even a guard.

Reiff is 6-foot-5 3/4 and 313 pounds. He started 37 career games at Iowa. 29 came at left tackle, seven at left guard, and one at right tackle.

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16 Responses to “Iowa’s Reiff has short arms for a left tackle”
  1. yelix says: Feb 25, 2012 10:36 AM

    If he can only play RT, and his arm length lets him fall to 11th, my Chiefs will happily have him over Barry Richardson. Iowa is one of the most dependable schools when it comes to worthwhile draft picks.

  2. billsfaninmiami says: Feb 25, 2012 10:39 AM

    And you know what they say about guys with short arms…

  3. nflfollower says: Feb 25, 2012 10:39 AM

    “most notably Joe Thomas”…..that works for me. Final grades are based on game tape, not arm length anyway.

  4. glazerh8er says: Feb 25, 2012 10:52 AM

    Tender little T-Rex arms.. :(

  5. tfbuckfutter says: Feb 25, 2012 10:55 AM

    This topic is awesome.

    This line “Some left tackles have overcome short arms” in particular made my day.

    The Combine is awesome.

  6. possiblecabbage says: Feb 25, 2012 10:55 AM

    The good thing for the media is that they can just recycle everything they wrote about Bryan Bulaga a few years back and have instant lazy analysis!

    Honestly though, the difference between right tackles and left tackles is the feet, not the arms. 33.25″ is just fine. It’s not a “plus” measurement by any measure, but it’s fine. If Reiff can’t play LT, it’s due to his head and his feet, not his arms.

  7. ernie ernie says: Feb 25, 2012 10:55 AM

    Too bad shorty. I hear McDonalds hires people with short arms to flip burgers.

  8. play4blood says: Feb 25, 2012 10:55 AM

    Let the Robert Gallery comparisons begin.

  9. randomjim says: Feb 25, 2012 11:01 AM

    How about a number comparison of someone as tall who doesn’t have short arms? How much shorter are his arms?

  10. mcjon22 says: Feb 25, 2012 11:18 AM

    He’ll be blocking Peyton’s right side in Miami

  11. bluvayner says: Feb 25, 2012 11:59 AM

    The Bengals should draft him.

    Mike Brown is known for his short arms too.

  12. tfbuckfutter says: Feb 25, 2012 12:27 PM

    I also like the banner picture.

    Very sly of him to wear a shirt with deceptively short sleeves to make his arms appear longer.

  13. purpleguy says: Feb 25, 2012 12:34 PM

    What’s the deal with short-armed O-linemen from Iowa? Wasn’t that also the beef with Bulaga before he went to the Pack? Is it the water in Iowa or what?

  14. babyhorsemorgan says: Feb 25, 2012 1:18 PM

    Still he is better off than high school teammate Bobby Spud, who was under six feet tall and clumsy. They said that he was all “left arms, for a short tackle”.

  15. sblackmonkey says: Feb 25, 2012 4:31 PM

    I have been wondering for a while why the trend in the NFL is for more and more black guys to become left tackles despite the relatively stable number of white guys as other offensive lineman. Now I know that it may be explained, in part, by reach, because it is common knowledge that, on average, black guys have longer wing spans.

  16. jkaflagg says: Feb 25, 2012 10:02 PM

    We Falcon fans laughed it off when Sam Baker was drafted with the “short arms” tag; now you only hear us crying. Be careful !!!!!

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