How Does the NFL Measure Hand Size

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How does the NFL measure hand size.

How Does the NFL Measure Hand Size


You’ve heard about it before and some analysts like to make a big deal out of it. It’s hand size at the NFL Combine. Prospects get hands measured as part of their full evaluation. The combine includes drills such as the 40-yard dash, position workouts, and more. You probably have wondered, how does the NFL measure hand size? Here’s a look at how it’s measured and more.

NFL Hand Size at the Combine

Hand measurement is completed by taking a tape measure from the tip of a player’s thumb to their pinky finger with the hand outstretched. So now you know if you want to measure your hand size for some odd reason to compare it with NFL players like Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, and more.

The average hand size for males in general is 8.5 inches. The measurement is used at the NFL Scouting Combine to evaluate quarterbacks, wide receivers, and other positions where ball control is important.

This has been a subject of scrutiny for some players, such as first-round pick Kenny Pickett. He has the smallest hands of any quarterback in the NFL. That didn’t stop Pickett from going 7-5 as a starter in his rookie season. He threw 7 touchdowns and 9 interceptions.

However, it’s important to note that hand size alone is not necessarily an indicator of success in the NFL, and other factors such as skill, athleticism, and intelligence also play a crucial role.

Does Hand Size Matter?

The size of a quarterback’s hands has long been a topic of debate in the NFL. Some have argued that it can have a significant impact on an NFL QBs ability to grip and throw the ball, especially in cold weather. 

Scouts and general managers worry quarterbacks with smaller hands may be more prone to fumbling the ball, as they may struggle to secure it tightly. Don’t judge a player by height because even though Drew Brees and Russell Wilson have smaller statures, each has a hand size of 10 and 1/4 inches.

According to one study, the average hand size for quarterbacks in the NFL is 9.7 inches. Ideally, a quarterback should be able to grip 40-50% of the ball when holding it. While some quarterbacks with small hands have had success in the league, the importance of quarterback hand size is still a point of contention among experts and fans alike.

For example, Dak Prescott has some of the biggest hands in the NFL yet he led the National Football League with 14 fumbles in 2021. So it might not be the only thing that makes a good quarterback.

Wide Receivers and Running Backs

Hand size is an important factor when it comes to the performance of wide receivers and running backs in the NFL Combine. Ball security is a critical aspect of the game, and the size of a player’s hands can significantly impact their ability to hold onto the ball.

The largest hands in the NFL have belonged to talented receivers like Odell Beckham Jr. and Calvin Johnson. Some argue it has undoubtedly contributed to their success on the field.

However, it’s important to note that hand size is just one of many factors that contribute to a player’s performance. While players with larger hands may have an advantage in ball security and making tough catches, it’s not the only thing that matters. Other skills like agility, speed, and route running also play a crucial role in the success of a receiver or running back.

Some QB Hand Sizes of Current NFL Quarterbacks

A big deal is made about hand size measurement at the combine. Once players get into the league, all that matters is their performance. With that being said, let’s look at the QBs in the NFL and their hand size.

Kenny Pickett, as we mentioned before, has the smallest hands in the NFL at 8.5 inches. That didn’t stop him from being a first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, starting 12 games as a rookie, and going 7-5 in those contests. Electrifying quarterback Michael Vick had the same measurement and he was selected number one as the first player in the NFL Draft back in 2001.

LSU standout Joe Burrow drew a lot of attention for having hands that measured at 9 inches. Some wondered if his small hands would impact his performance and if his throwing hand wouldn’t be able to get a better grip on the ball.

Burrow put all of that to rest as he reached the Super Bowl in his second season as a starter. Starting quarterback Justin Fields of the Chicago Bears has hands that are 9 and 1/8 inches and one of the smaller sets of hands in the league.

What about big hands? Russell Wilson is near the top of the NFL with a measurement of 10 and 1/4 inches. Aaron Rodgers and Josh Allen each measured 10 and 1/8 inches. Two-time Super Bowl champion Patrick Mahomes measures at 9 and 1/4 inches.

How Much Does Height Matter for Size of the Hands?

The relationship between a person’s height and the size of their hands is an interesting topic, especially for NFL players. The information provided about several players like Odell Beckham, Larry Fitzgerald, Cam Newton, and Vance McDonald suggests that taller players tend to have larger handspans.

For example, Cam Newton, who stands at 6’5″, has a handspan that is around 6.7% wider than average for his height, while Vance McDonald, who is 6’4″, has a handspan that is around 8.9% wider than average for his height.

However, it’s important to note that other factors, such as genetics and individual variation, can also impact hand size. For instance, Odell Beckham has an extremely large handspan measuring 10 inches, which is around 18% wider than average for his height of 5’11”. Additionally, there are other players like T. Y. Hilton, who at 5’9″ has an average handspan of 8.5 inches.

How Does the NFL Measure Hand Size FAQs

What QB has the smallest hands in the NFL?

Kenny Pickett’s hands measure 8.5 inches. That is the smallest in the NFL among starting quarterbacks.

Which QB has the biggest hands in NFL history?

Jim Druckenmiller reportedly had a hand size of 11.25 inches.

Why does the NFL Combine measure hand size?

College football players and prospects go through a ton of tests, drills, interviews, and more. Scouts, coaches, and general managers want as much information as possible before making selections in the draft.

Which QB had the smallest hands ever?

Doug Hudson had the smallest hands of any NFL quarterback. They measured 7.25 inches.

Author: Sam Russell

Sam hails from Grandville, Michigan. He has a rich sports background, including playing baseball at Central Michigan before covering high school sports and working with the Orlando Magic. He earned his degree from Central Michigan University and was a member of the 2010 MAC Championship baseball team. Sam grew his knowledge of sports betting while working with Betsperts in various areas such as writing, social media, betting research, and business development. He's a big fan of the NBA, NFL, and MLB, highly interested in data and statistics.