The NFL combine has an assortment of odd, sometimes trivial measurements, tests, and questions for prospects.
However, one measurement can be so crucial that Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen has been seeing a masseuse in preparation in hopes it helps his status in the draft.
As Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman details, the hand measurement for quarterbacks can be crucial at the combine.
A large hand doesn’t just help with ball security on snaps and for preventing fumbles, according to Feldman, NFL executives think it can be crucial for throwing the ball in inclement weather.
At the Senior Bowl in Alabama last month, Allen’s hands were measured at 8.5 inches from thumb to pinkie, the smallest of any quarterback at the game. Feldman says anything over 9.5 inches is considered large.
So, Allen has been seeing a masseuse to get hand massages twice a week in hopes that the muscles will loosen up and he can stretch his hand further.
He said he hopes he can “maybe get another 1/2 inch or 1/4 inch here or there because the muscles in my hands were really tight and this can loosen them up. I have long fingers. It’s worth a shot.”
“It’s obviously something I can’t control,” Allen added.
Although the relationship between hand size and cold-weather performances is tenuous, hand size is still an important factor to NFL executives, even over height. Feldman notes that Russell Wilson and Drew Brees, two shorter quarterbacks, both have huge hands (Wilson’s measure over 10 inches). Teddy Bridgewater, meanwhile, drew questions during his pro day for having small hand measurements.
North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz, meanwhile, has massive mittens:
Carson Wentz: 6052. 237. 10 hand
— Louis Riddick (@LRiddickESPN) February 25, 2016
“I didn’t even know [the importance of hand size] was even a thing till this year,” Allen told Feldman. “I’ve never dropped a ball or never had fumbling problems. I don’t think it’s really a factor.”
Regardless, to teams looking for a quarterback it does matter, and Allen taking time (and money) to get hand massages every week shows that a seemingly small combine measurement can have significant effects.
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