Everyone’s Talking About Kenny Pickett’s Hands; Will It Hurt NFL Draft Odds?

Small hands worked out OK for Joe Burrow and Michael Vick

by

March 3

Kenny Pickett has small hands.

Diminutive digits might not be a problem in most professions, but Pickett is close to securing his dream of becoming an NFL quarterback. His tiny ticklers are unlikely to get in the way of fulfilling that dream, but it could hurt his stock in the 2022 NFL Draft — and that’s something bettors might want to monitor.

Pickett’s hands measured 8 1/2 inches at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis this week. One quick (and extremely unofficial) Google search indicates the average male hand measures 7.6 inches. So when it comes to normal people, the Pitt signal-caller is actually above average. When it comes to playing quarterback in the NFL, it’s hilariously small.

Past ESPN research found the average hand size of an NFL first-round QB pick is 9.7 inches. At the time of the report, New Orleans Saints “quarterback” Taysom Hill had the smallest hand at 8 3/4 inches. So, obviously, Pickett would have the smallest QB hands in the league.

The big question, as it pertains to his draft stock, is will that matter? NFL Twitter rushed to weigh in after the hand-size news went as viral as hand-size news can go.

Will all the buzz about Pickett’s hands actually affect his draft stock? As of Thursday morning, oddsmakers aren’t dropping him down their big boards.

FanDuel Sportsbook has him at 50-1 to go No. 1 overall, and DraftKings Sportsbook lists Pickett at 60-1, but he never really had any top pick buzz. As the draft gets closer, we should get even more prop bets — including a specific draft order over/under for Pickett — but for now, the offerings are limited. FanDuel, however, does have Pickett as the second-highest odds for first quarterback picked.

Malik Willis +110
Kenny Pickett +150
Sam Howell +700
Matt Corral +1000

Interestingly, ESPN’s Todd McShay had Pickett as the first QB selected, ticketing him for the Washington Commanders at No. 11 in his post-Super Bowl mock draft. It should be noted, though, there’s consensus that this is a historically weak QB class.

Former NFL executive Mike Tannebaum admitted Thursday that hand size is considered, but it’s probably overstated.

“Hand size is always part of the conversation,” Tannebaum said in a video for the 33rd Team. “So much is made of it — I think it’s all silly. I want to know how they play. I want to know, is ball security an issue? In cold weather (does it affect grip) … that’s a very small part of the conversation — this whole notion ‘Does he have 9-inch hands or not?’ I think it’s a really good player.”

Here’s another way to look at it: Ask fellow tiny-hand-haver Joe Burrow whether it matters in the NFL.

Ultimately, Pickett’s track record at Pitt and how he interviews with teams takes precedence over something like hand size. But as draft season really kicks up, it will be interesting to see whether public perception starts to change. And if that does happen, we’ll almost certainly see it reflected in the betting market, too.

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