It’s NFL Combine week, which means an endless series of people tweeting out measurables and statistics without much context. Yes, obviously running a fast 40-yard dash can be a pretty good skill to have, especially for, well, skill positions.
But the Combine takes it to an entirely different level, and we only see the tip of the iceberg, not things like the half dozen MRI tests some prospects have to undergo. Today, hand sizes were released. There’s a world in which something like that, entirely out of a prospect’s control, could reasonably be used as a differentiating factor for a team. If, say, there are two players with 7th round grades, for example, and you have to pick one of them.
When perhaps the most obvious #1 overall pick in recent memory has hands a bit smaller than average for the position, though, it’s probably not something to care about. Such was the case today, as Joe Burrow measured in.
By popular demand: Joe Burrow has 9-inch hands. https://t.co/Tn5NNQUT7J
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) February 24, 2020
Takes flew in both ironically (because the internet) and unironically (because NFL scouting).
It's worth noting that Jared Goff's hands were 9" when he came through the NFL Combine.
The concern with smaller hands is playing in poor weather. A larger hand will result in a more secure grip on the football, which could result in less turnovers.
— Kyle Yates (@KyleYNFL) February 24, 2020
— A.J. Mckinnon ? (@toben41) February 24, 2020
— The Pickle (@sportspickle) February 24, 2020
Joe Burrow, of course, is coming off one of the best seasons in recent college football memory, in which he clearly looked like the best quarterback in the country and one with a skillset that should translate fairly seamlessly to modern NFL offenses, and maybe even what the Bengals run, too.
Burrow took to Twitter to address the seriousness of the situation with the exact amount of gravity it deserved:
Considering retirement after I was informed the football will be slipping out of my tiny hands. Please keep me in your thoughts.
— Joey Burrow (@JoeyB) February 24, 2020
Of course, he might end up having to play in Cincinnati, so maybe he shouldn’t be crying wolf about preemptively retiring just yet.