Quarterback Brandon Allen's massage idea paid big dividends Thursday at the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine, as the former Arkansas signal-caller's hand size increased significantly since a measurement was last taken at the Senior Bowl.
According to Bruce Feldman of FoxSports.com, Allen's hand size was nearly a half-inch bigger at the combine than it was when he participated in the predraft All-Star Game:
#Arkansas QB Brandon Allen whose hand was measured at 8 1/2 at Senior Bowl was now measured at 8 7/8 inches at combine thx to massage work.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) February 25, 2016
Per Darin Gantt of Pro Football Talk, quarterbacks with a hand size less than 9" tend to be at a disadvantage in terms of the way teams look at them and when it comes to ball security.
That is why Allen decided to try his luck at increasing his hand size with a series of massages.
"It's obviously something I can't control," he told Feldman. "... It's worth a shot."
The Fayetteville, Arkansas, native's creative solution was effective, and it may ultimately help improve his draft stock.
Per Bo Mattingly of Sports Talk With Bo, Senior Bowl executive director Phil Savage already felt as though Allen had opened some eyes with his strong performance in that game:
Savage: I thought Brandon Allen helped himself at the Senior Bowl. … He fits w/teams in timing offenses, West Coast schemes.— Bo Mattingly (@SportsTalkwBo) February 24, 2016
He enjoyed a spectacular senior season with the Razorbacks, completing 65.9 percent of his passes for 3,440 yards, 30 touchdowns and just eight interceptions against a difficult SEC schedule.
While a bigger hand isn't likely to thrust Allen into first-round status along with Jared Goff, Carson Wentz and Paxton Lynch, even the slightest move up draft boards would mean more money and potentially better opportunities.
NFL draft prospects often prepare for the combine in unique ways, such as working with track and field coaches to improve 40-yard dash times, but Allen's hand massaging is a potential game-changer for quarterbacks.
Now that players have seen that the technique works, one can only assume that other NFL quarterback hopefuls will give it a try from here on out.
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