How would you like to be an NFL quarterback prospect and find out your hand, measured from pinky to thumb, is one-eighth of an inch short of acceptable?
That’s what happened to Jared Goff of Cal on Thursday at the annual scouting combine in Indianapolis. His right (passing) hand measured nine inches, and people were actually suggesting it could cost him millions.
You see, somebody, somewhere set nine and one-eighths inches as being barely adequate, so that’s what scouts and personnel departments go by these days.
Goff is being considered by the quarterback-challenged Cleveland Browns, who have the No. 2 overall pick in the draft. If not Goff, they figure to select Carson Wentz from North Dakota State or trade down a few spots.
Wentz, all other variables being similar, incredibly might have an edge on Goff for the No. 2 pick because his hand measures 10 inches.
As the theory goes, quarterbacks with bigger hands are more likely to keep the ball safe and secure, especially in the face of oncoming pass rushers and nasty weather.
“It matters,” new Browns head coach and noted quarterback whisperer Hue Jackson told reporters in Indianapolis.
Goff, playing on the West Coast, fumbled 23 times in college, and that’s being traced to his substandard hand, believe it or not.
Dave Krieg, who played in the NFL from 1980-98, is the poster child for the small-handed QB. He led the league in career fumbles with 153 before a couple of Hall of Famers, Brett Favre and Warren Moon, overtook him.
Goff looks frail next to the sturdily-built Wentz, who has been compared favorably to Andrew Luck.
At least Goff is saying all the right stuff. Thursday, he said the thought of playing in Cleveland did not send shivers down his spine and that he would succeed because of Jackson.
Never hurts to kiss up to the head coach, right? Especially with those tiny hands!
Simply because everything rides on this pick for the Browns, fans can only hope it’s made entirely by football people (Jackson preferably) as opposed to the recently hired former baseball executive in the front office or some other numbers cruncher.