Much was made before the 2022 draft about the size of Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett‘s hands. And for good reason. Some teams have a minimum hand size below which they will not go.
And some teams aren’t bashful about saying so.
Appearing on Ben Roethlisberger’s podcast, Pickett said that multiple teams told Pickett he was off the draft board due to his hand being smaller than nine inches.
“There’s teams that were like, ‘If you’re not at nine [inches], you just get off the board,'” Pickett said, via SteelersDepot.com. “And those teams were high. I’m obviously going to do everything I can [to get drafted as high as possible].”
Pickett told The Pivot podcast that he wore a splint at night during the pre-draft process in order to stretch his hands. It worked, a bit. His 8.5-inch hand size grew to 8-5/8ths.
Some teams have certain prototypes from which they won’t deviate, with height, weight, and hand size being the most important of them, when it comes to a quarterback.
It’s an analytics tool, developed long before analytics became widely used in sports. The thinking is that deviation from those basic minimums introduces a level of risk to the process that, over time, will result in more failures than successes.
It’s nothing personal against the player who doesn’t get drafted. It’s a matter of basic numbers from which certain evaluators simply will never, ever deviate.
That doesn’t mean Pickett will not be successful. It means that certain teams refuse to ever make exceptions when it comes to basic size minimums, given the enhanced risk of failure when doing so.