Steelers say concerns about Kenny Pickett’s hand size are erased by watching him play

NFL: APR 28 2022 Draft
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New Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett has famously small hands, but the Steelers say the game tape matters more than the measuring tape.

Outgoing Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert said on #PFTPM that Pickett was “the most prepared coming out” of the quarterbacks in this year’s draft, and that any concerns about his hand size are negated by simply watching how he handled the ball in games.

“Honestly, I never paid attention to that,” Colbert said. “We look at the results. We watch Kenny play in our environment. . . . Can he throw the football? Absolutely. Did he have an excessive fumble rate? No, he didn’t. We just judge it on how he played.”

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin made similar comments to Rich Eisen today.

“I potentially was capable of buying into that if I didn’t watch him play college football in Pittsburgh and deal with the elements that come with playing in this environment,” Tomlin said. “So you can buy into the hand size thing or you can just look at how he performed in a variety of conditions, and we have those conditions in Pittsburgh. So there was very little speculation from our perspective about how he might handle the ball in inclement weather, wet days, etc. They played North Carolina on a Thursday night, I went to the game, it was raining pretty good that night and he had no issues.”

The Steelers say Pickett will compete with Mitchell Trubisky and Mason Rudolph for the starting job in camp, while seventh-round pick Chris Oladokun will compete for a roster spot but likely not for the starting job. Whether Pickett wins the competition or not will be decided on something other than measuring his hands.

32 responses to “Steelers say concerns about Kenny Pickett’s hand size are erased by watching him play

  1. Not concerned until he starts fumbling the ball… which he will do… a lot.

  2. Small? See Doug Flutie and the teams he lead to victory the money he made and the teams he played for and wanted him. Ask Buffalo how that worked out benching him?

  3. Let’s wait until he actually plays before we say if he’s good or no good.

  4. Old goats remember when Marino was passed over due to concerns about his hand size.

  5. A QB with small hands that knows how to protect the ball is much better than a QB with large hands that holds the ball like a loaf of bread.

    Hand size is a non-issue.

  6. The footballs they use in college are slightly smaller than the ones the NFL uses. We won’t know if his hand size matters until he throws some NFL footballs in real games.

  7. Crazy how teams use these mostly irrelevant measurements to convince themselves to draft elsewhere. Judge the tape. Some things just cannot be measured.

  8. Excessive fumbling?…maybe not. But his fumbling is definitely above average.

  9. From the clips ive watched of him, he has no issues handling the ball. time will tell but i think the steelers did good to take him

  10. Somebody posted on another site that Pickett had 38 fumbles in college. I’d say that’s an excessive fumble rate.

  11. elrock7 says:
    Somebody posted on another site that Pickett had 38 fumbles in college. I’d say that’s an excessive fumble rate.
    ======================================
    not true. he had 9/9/7/3 fumbles from 2018 to 2021 and 5/2/1/2 fumbles lost during the same period. so he definitely improved this area of his game.

  12. not true about Pickett having a massive fumbling problem. he had 9/9/7/3 fumbles from 2018 to 2021 and 5/2/1/2 fumbles lost during the same period. so he definitely improved this area of his game.

  13. charliecharger says:
    May 4, 2022 at 8:15 pm
    It’s more about what’s between your ears.
    ———————————————————————————————————
    I’m sure you think the QB that scores the highest on the Wonderlic will eventually be in the HoF (since it’s what’s between the ears). Matt Hasselback had a higher score than Peyton Manning. Carson Wentz had a higher score than Tom Brady.

  14. elrock7 says:
    May 4, 2022 at 8:51 pm
    Somebody posted on another site that Pickett had 38 fumbles in college. I’d say that’s an excessive fumble rate.
    —————
    According to Fox and ESPN he had 26 fumbles over his 5 years of which he lost 11.

  15. Simple googling and napkin math shows the average qb fumble rate at about .60 per start, his college stats put him at like around like .75ish? 38 fumbles/49 starts. Above average but I Don’t know if it’s alerting. Wait and see I suppose.

  16. His hands are big enough to hold a clipboard. Mitchell Trubisky, QB1 – Go Steelers!!

  17. His hands are going to be a problem in bad weather games he will have a propensity to fumble the ball but his lack of velocity slash arm strength and inability to throw with anticipation very well will be much bigger problems for Pickett n the Steelers n will lead to INTs in the NFL.

  18. So now this will be the Dante Culpepper affect, every time he fumbled it was all about his hand size.

  19. Having small hands doesn’t mean the guy can’t perform. He might have to be more creative with his game, take extra time and care to prepare, but he can still get the job done to everyone’s satisfaction.

  20. Some people think Steeler ownership made this pick, scared to pass on another Pitt QB (Marino) while nobody else had a 1st round grade on him. Seems very plausible considering he wasn’t on the Cowboys board and he’s obviously not 2 round better than the rest of the QB class.

  21. 26 fumbles in 48 games, yep good game film. I think the kid is going to be good but the small hands and fumbles at Heinz will always be a problem.

  22. 38 fumbles over 52 games or 26 or 48, about every other game, will get any RB’s, Receivers or TE’s cut. It is more of a matter if a really bad Steelers line can block, if he is constantly trying to avoid rushers he will have a much higher propensity to fumble (as with any QB). And not to mention in college he might see a NFL capable pass rusher 2 or 3 times a year. Won’t know until he plays if he can make the leap to pro-ball the odds, overwhelming, say no.

  23. stillers1963 says:
    May 4, 2022 at 9:47 pm
    not true about Pickett having a massive fumbling problem. he had 9/9/7/3 fumbles from 2018 to 2021 and 5/2/1/2 fumbles lost during the same period. so he definitely improved this area of his game.
    ——————————————————————————————————————

    38 Fumbles is an awful lot of fumbles over 4yrs in college regardless the circumstances. Picketts small hands & propensity to fumble will only get magnified in the NFL, and in the NFL where defenders are far faster/quicker/more athletic n much better coached a lot more of the passes he puts on the ground will end up in the other teams hands counting as turnovers . Look at Daniel Jones, suddenly his propensity to fumble the ball has been a FAR GREATEST issue the NFL and has plagued him since day one in the NFL pretty much.

  24. How big are Sam Darnold’s hands? That guy can barely hold onto the football.

  25. He will need to work hard to eliminate this problem in the NFL; he will be able to reduce it by learning to protect the football better, but it will never be gone entirely

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