Kenny Pickett: Teams told me I was off their draft boards over hand size

Pittsburgh Steelers v Baltimore Ravens
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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 “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.

21 responses to “Kenny Pickett: Teams told me I was off their draft boards over hand size

  1. He wouldn’t be on my big board either. Undraftable with those tiny hands.

    I want a QB who can wrap his hand around a football in a manly fashion. Dainty doesn’t play in the NFL.

  2. We still don’t know if he can consistently win at this level.

  3. I mean it is a pretty important thing. I remember when I was in orlando at hard rock and they had the ball with micheal jordans palm print laid over it. That palm is the reason he was able to do a lot of what he did.

    that said todays game is so watered down things like being able to hold onto the ball doesn’t matter. they’ll just do one of those mulligan replay challenges where they make up the new rule. and then the team goes on to win the game or championship they should have lost.

  4. Those teams probably know best as they’re constantly looking for qbs that aren’t failures

  5. Teams did not tell him that. It may be true that they did but no team will make that public & certainly not tell a player.

  6. Hands, schmands…
    [from Pro Football Focus]
    “he was among the best at the position during the last seven weeks of the season. [when the weather is a factor] In fact, he earned the second-highest PFF passing grade in that time span, behind only Joe Burrow, and ranked second in big-time throw percentage — ahead of the likes of Patrick Mahomes and Burrow. He also posted the lowest turnover-worthy play percentage in the league in that span.”

  7. And to think that Pickett already established himself prior to his nfl career with those tiny hands Burger King commercials. This guy is going places. Small hand places, but places nonetheless.

  8. If you are not Mahomes, Burrow or Allen, just be patient because the hype machine will try to manufacture your rise.

  9. You know what they say about guys with small hands. They wear small gloves.

  10. It’s been determined that Mac Jones had the greatest hand measurements in the history of the league.

  11. He’s a baller and they don’t have analytics to measure heart yet.

  12. Kenny just have em deflate the football a little bit. Works, been done before

  13. And those teams were picking very high, so their rigid adherence to standards must make them successful ….

  14. They are very small for an NFL QB. My hands are 10.5 and when they are cold and wet it was hard to grip the ball. I guess he can always use those “sticky” gloves.

  15. So Pickett has tiny hands and average arm strength? Not good when you play in a bad weather division like the AFC North.

  16. I know he can’t do this due to conflict of interest agent stuff, but he should just come out and say which teams said this to him. Let the world know who uses arbitrary measurements to determine whether a potential franchise QB is in or out from the get-go.

  17. Vick has the same size hands as Pickett, he went first overall and everyone knew he was going first. So either hand size has suddenly become more important or it’s hand size/upside combination.
    I hope he does well, proves the doubters wrong.

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