Detroit fans should get used to talking about Pittsburgh QB Kenny Pickett’s hand size

2022 NFL Draft Detroit Lions

Get ready for another exhaustive discussion about quarterback hand sizes.

Kenny Pickett, the presumed top quarterback (at this time) and potential Detroit target, did not have his hands measured at the Senior Bowl. That’s because the 6-foot-3, 217-pound senior is double jointed, so his hands naturally point at an unusual direction, according to ESPN’s Tom Pelissero.

Reports say Pickett is doing exercises that will allow for an accurate measurement during next month’s Combine.

However, his hands were reportedly 8 1/4-inches when measured last spring by scouts.

How does that stack up against NFL quarterbacks? That would put Pickett in the 0 percentile.

The starting quarterback with the smallest hands is part-time New Orleans’ starter Taysom Hill with a hand measurement of 8 3/4-inches. Jared Goff of Detroit and Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow were measured with 9-inch hands, tying them for the second-smallest among starting QBs.

Should we once again shrug off the hand-size discussion? Maybe not.

As Ian Cummings of Pro Football Network said, “This is legitimate uncharted territory.”

From Cummings: “Over the past 37 seasons, 650 quarterbacks have registered hand measurements, either at combines or pro days. Of those 650 quarterbacks, Pickett would have the third-smallest hands of the group with his reported measurements. Only Tony Lowery (7.63 inches) and Doug Hudson (7.25 inches) had smaller. Divide it up, and Pickett’s hands are smaller than 99.6% of all hand measurements on record over that range. He’s in the 0.4th percentile.”

Scouts aren’t too worried about Pickett’s hand size affecting his velocity. But could it lead to more fumbles? That’s hard to say.

Pickett fumbled the ball 26 times between the 2018 to 2021 seasons. Take away his redshirt senior season, and Pickett had 19 fumbles between 2018 to 2020, which was one of the higher three-year totals over that span. From Cummings: “It’s difficult to trace that directly to Pickett’s hand size, however, as other QBs have had the same struggles.”

Hand size doesn’t necessarily translate to fumbles at the pro level, either.

Las Vegas’ Derek Carr and Chicago rookie Justin Fields are tied with the third-smallest hands in the league at 9 1/8-inches. Carr finished second in the league this past season with 13 fumbles (5 lost), while Fields was right behind with 12 fumbles (5 lost).

The player with the most fumbles? That would be Dallas’ Dak Prescott with 14. Prescott also has the biggest hands among starting quarterbacks at 10 7/8-inches.

With Detroit holding the No. 2 overall pick and in desperate need for a new quarterback – in what’s considered a weak QB class – Pickett’s hand size “is something you can’t ignore,” Cummings said.

More from PFN: “In history, there have been very few NFL passers, let alone starters, with Pickett’s hand size. There’s a definite correlation. Pickett will be the ultimate test on whether or not it’s causation as well.”


Click here to see who Detroit might take with the No. 2 overall pick in Fanspeak’s latest seven-round mock draft.

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