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Will Kenny Pickett measure his hands at the Combine?

One of the bigger stories from Senior Bowl practices was Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett’s refusal to allow his hand to be measured. Yet, this is not exactly “news” to PFN readers, as Pickett’s hand size and his subsequent double-jointed thumb have been reported here since last October. But as with most news stories, this one is ever-evolving. Here are the latest NFL Draft rumors and news surrounding Pickett.

NFL Draft Rumors: Latest on Kenny Pickett’s hand measurements

First, it must be stated that hand size is a critical element for many scouts and teams when it comes to the quarterback position. The bigger the hand, the easier it is to grip a football. And there’s less chance of wayward passes coming out of that hand. It also makes controlling the football when a quarterback rolls outside the pocket or scrambles away from pass rushers much easier. Smaller hands make it a more difficult job.

The minimum teams typically want in hand size for a signal-caller is 9 inches. If a quarterback has a hand size under that mark, some teams won’t touch that player during the draft’s initial three rounds.

Pickett’s historic hand size

The only QB in recent history to be selected in the early part of Round 1 that had a hand size under 9 inches that I can remember was Michael Vick (8 1/2″).

During an interview I did in Pittsburgh earlier this week, I reported that scouts have a measurement of 8 1/4″ inches on Pickett’s hand from the spring of 2021.

In response, a reporter from NFL.com tweeted out the names of several quarterbacks, including Joe Burrow and Ryan Tannehill, that had hands measuring under 9 inches. The tweet, as it pertains to Joe Burrow, is false.

According to the 2020 Combine Master Report, the document given to all NFL teams that includes all the official measurements, times, and testing results from the Combine, Burrow’s hand size was an even 9 inches. Tannehill also had a hand of 9 inches.

Will Pickett measure at the Combine?

Now that the NFL Combine is a week away, what will Pickett do? As reported during last Friday’s edition of PFN Daily, I am told the present game plan is for Pickett to have his hand measured at the Combine.

So why would Pickett have his hand measured at the Combine after refusing to do so prior to Senior Bowl practices? The reasoning given to me makes total sense.

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Pickett’s double-jointed thumb had him using the finger in more of a vertical manner most of his life rather than horizontally, as most quarterbacks do when they grip a football. Hence, Pickett has been doing range-of-motion exercises the past few months to make horizontal use of his thumb much more natural.

This will do two things for Pickett: It will make gripping the football easier and also give him a better hand measurement come Combine time. Will it reach the critical 9-inch mark? That’s unlikely, but it’s sure to be larger than 8 1/4″ inches.

Aside from hand size, Pickett brings A+ work ethic

While many will understandably debate the importance of Pickett’s hand measurement in the lead-up to the draft, one thing won’t be debated: The quarterback’s work ethic. Throughout the process, people have raved about Pickett’s work ethic leading into the 2021 season through the present day. He shows up to work every day, and he works every day.

Hence it should come as no surprise that teams were impressed by Pickett’s interviews and interactions during quarterback meetings at Senior Bowl practices, as I reported earlier this month.

For more on Pickett as it pertains to the 2022 NFL Draft, his full scouting report can be found here: Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh QB | NFL Draft Scouting Report

And to see where Pickett ranks on the Pro Football Network 2022 NFL Draft Big Board, take a look at the PFN Consensus Big Board Top 300 Players.

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