At least one person isn’t worried about Kenny Pickett being able to hold onto the football.
The former Pitt quarterback raised some eyebrows when he declined to have his hands measured at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. Pickett told NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero he will wait until the NFL Combine to be measured because he has a double-jointed thumb, which makes it difficult to get an accurate measurement.
NFL MOCK DRAFT: Where does Pickett land?
Pitt QB Kenny Pickett didn’t have his hands measured here in Mobile, but he has a good reason: He’s double jointed, so his thumb naturally points an odd direction, and he’s doing extra exercises to get an accurate measurement at the combine in March. pic.twitter.com/KLMdraG9AC
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 31, 2022
There will be plenty of scouts wary of spending a first-round pick at the 2022 NFL Draft on a quarterback with hands on the smaller side. Panthers coach Pat Narduzzi dismissed the idea that hand size should deter teams from selecting the Heisman Trophy finalist, telling ESPN’s Andrea Adelson the questions about measurements are “a complete joke.”
“If they want to measure anything, what they should do is do open-heart surgery, go check and see how big that chest cavity is and how big the heart is inside that chest, if you really want to analyze,” Narduzzi said. “What are we talking about? There’s nobody out there who’s going to play harder and put everything he’s got into it than Kenny Pickett.
“This kid doesn’t have a flaw. That’s what [scouts] do. It’s the same thing at the combine, they’re going to find something else to pick on him. It’s not going to be a factor.”
Pickett is just the latest in a long line of QBs who have faced questions about the size of their hands. Before the 2020 NFL Draft, Joe Burrow joked about his own hand size issues after measuring at nine inches.
“Considering retirement after I was informed the football will be slipping out of my tiny hands,” Burrow tweeted.
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
Pickett won’t be a slam-dunk No. 1 pick like Burrow, but he is expected to come off the board in the first round. He led the Panthers to an 11-2 record and the 2021 ACC championship last season before sitting out Pitt’s Peach Bowl loss to Michigan State. He threw for 4,319 yards with 42 touchdowns and seven interceptions.