ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr.: Kenny Pickett's Hand Size Isn't Concern for Some NFL Insiders

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 31, 2022

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - DECEMBER 04: Kenny Pickett #8 of the Pittsburgh Panthers and teammates celebrate with the trophy after winning the ACC Championship game against Wake Forest at Bank of America Stadium on December 04, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Logan Whitton/Getty Images)
Logan Whitton/Getty Images

One of the talking points regarding Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett prior to the 2022 NFL draft is going to be his hand size after he skipped those measurements in Mobile, Alabama, at the Senior Bowl.  

Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero

Pitt QB Kenny Pickett didn’t have his hands measured here in Mobile, but he has a good reason: He’s double jointed, so his thumb naturally points an odd direction, and he’s doing extra exercises to get an accurate measurement at the combine in March. <a href="https://t.co/KLMdraG9AC">pic.twitter.com/KLMdraG9AC</a>

Dane Brugler @dpbrugler

No surprises with the QB weigh-ins.<br><br>It appears Kenny Pickett skipped the hand measurement? (he was measured 8 1/4" previously by scouts) <a href="https://t.co/wGGcAaWxhU">https://t.co/wGGcAaWxhU</a>

But not everyone is reportedly concerned with Pickett potentially having hands on the smaller side for a quarterback. 

"I've talked to people in the league, and they don't seem that concerned about it," Mel Kiper Jr. said during an episode of ESPN's First Draft on Monday (7:48 mark). "Maybe some [have concerns], but the ones I've talked to didn't. But that will be much discussed."

On the field, Pickett flashed some fantastic tape in 2021, throwing for 4,319 yards, 42 touchdowns and just seven interceptions in 13 games, completing 67.2 percent of his passes. He also rushed for 233 yards and five scores. 

He led the Panthers to an 11-3 record and was a Heisman Trophy finalist. 

In what appears to be a weaker quarterback class, Pickett could emerge as the first quarterback off the board. The counterargument is that some teams might be put off by his reported hand size, the fact that he'll be 24 in June and his mediocre production before this past season. 

As Todd McShay noted Monday, Pickett "could have some of the smaller hands we've seen for an early-round QB prospect in quite a while. That matters for ball security, especially in bad weather."

McShay added, however, that the young quarterback "has pretty good velocity on this throws and a smooth delivery—and his foot agility in the pocket. Pocket mobility is one of Pickett's best traits."

Jim Nagy @JimNagy_SB

If you’re discounting Kenny Pickett because of a hand size measurement you’re wayyyyyy over-thinking it. Dude played five years in Pittsburgh weather, not Boca Raton.

In Kiper's latest mock draft Jan. 19, he projected Pickett to be the second quarterback off the board to the New Orleans Saints' No. 18 overall selection (he had Liberty quarterback Malik Willis going No. 11 overall to the Washington Football Team).

A number of teams in the first round surely will be scouting Pickett extensively. How they fall on the issue of his hand size will help determine where he comes off the board.