INDIANAPOLIS — NFL hopefuls are poked, prodded and measured all week here at the combine, and for quarterbacks, the one measurement that may matter most to scouts is hand size.
That’s why former Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen is going to extreme measures to hopefully increase his hand size from 8 1/2 inches to up to 9 inches. Allen has spent time with a massage therapist in hopes of getting the desired thumb-to-pinkie measurement.
“It’s obviously something I can’t control,” Allen said, via Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman, mentioning the masseuse has tried to stretch his hands twice a week “to maybe get another 1/2 inch or 1/4 inch here or there because the muscles in my hands were really tight and this can loosen them up. I have long fingers.
“It’s worth a shot.”
In one of the most talked about storylines of the combine two years ago, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was supposed to be a top 15 pick, but after a terrible pro day at Louisville, scouts were concerned about his 9 1/4 inch hands, which were the smallest of any QB in that draft. Bridgewater, who throws with gloves, decided against doing so in his pro day. It backfired on him, and he eventually slipped to the last pick in the first round.
Bridgewater’s hand size really hasn’t been an issue in the NFL, though. He’s completed 65 percent of his passes in two seasons and helped lead the Vikings to the playoffs this year.
Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson says hand size is important, especially in the AFC North with cold-weather cities like Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Cleveland.
“Oh yes, it does. It does,” Jackson said if hand size mattered. “It matters because we play in a division where all of a sudden there’s rain, there’s snow and it’s different. I think guys that have big hands can grip the ball better in those environmental situations and so we’ll look for a guy that fits what we’re looking for in a quarterback and is hand size important? Yes it is.”
We’ll see how Allen competes in on-field drills this Saturday.