2022 NFL Draft
Kenny Pickett Says Hand Size Took Him off Some Draft Boards
Throughout the 2022 NFL Draft process, one of the biggest questions was always about Kenny Pickett and his hand size, and while that never became an issue for the Pittsburgh Steelers, it seems it was a massive issue for other teams circle in the QB waters.
Appearing on Footbahlin’ With Ben Roethlisberger on Sunday, Pickett revealed that teams told him they were going to take him off their board entirely if he could not get his hands to 9 inches overall. So, over the course of the draft cycle, Pickett wore a splint to make his hand grow. It grew from 8 1/4 inches to 8 5/8 inches. But still, that did not mean teams didn’t remove him from their draft boards.
“There’s teams that were like, ‘If you’re not at nine inches, you just get off the board,’” Pickett said. “And those teams were high. What would you do with those teams? I’m obviously going to do everything I can. It was fine.”
Prior to the entire process, Kenny Pickett never really cared about his hand size, but he intensively did as much as he could rectify the issue before draft day, even wearing that splint that could make it all uncomfortable. Throughout the entire process, that was the routine Pickett did every day.
“You know, I’m going to do whatever I can to be taken as high as possible,” Pickett said. “You’re like, it is what it is and I had to do what I could to get there. Like, I’ll do whatever it takes. That’s what I was doing.”
Pickett acknowledged that some teams simply have a set number. He thinks he throws it well, but those teams were concerned with the hand size on their measurables list. However, the Steelers were never one of those teams. Kevin Colbert gawked at the proposition throughout the process of hand size being a determining factor for the team.
“We do every measurement known,” Colbert said. “Sometimes, those things are misleading. I always tell the story, when people talk about hand size, Herman Moore was a great receiver that we had with the Detroit Lions. Herman Moore was 6-foot-4, but his hands measured 8 1/2. Herman Moore had great hands. Well, Herman couldn’t spread his fingers, but his fingers were very long. So, sometimes we get caught up in that. I’d look at more statistics from a fumble standpoint. How did the player lose the ball if he fumbled it? How does he deliver? Does it get to where it needs to get to? We take in as much information as we can, but in general, we’re just going to evaluate the player overall.”
Regardless, in hindsight, the issue seems to matter very little. Pickett’s fumble numbers were modest in his rookie season and he threw the ball around the field just fine. Teams still do have the arbitrary physical benchmarks that they hope guys can hit, and that is what seemingly caused Pickett to be removed from some boards.