Steelers' Kenny Pickett Says Teams Removed Him from NFL Draft Boards over Hand Size

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVMay 22, 2023

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA - DECEMBER 24: Kenny Pickett #8 of the Pittsburgh Steelers warms up prior to the start of the game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Acrisure Stadium on December 24, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
Justin Berl/Getty Images

Hope springs eternal and so does Kenny Pickett hand-size discourse.

The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback told Footbahlin with Ben Roethlisberger (h/t Alex Kozora of Steelers Depot) how the concerns over his hand size had a tangible impact on his draft stock in the eyes of some teams.

Pickett told the Steelers legend that nine inches had been set as the dividing line.

"There's teams that were like, 'If you're not at nine, you just get off the board,'" he said. "And those teams were high. I'm obviously going to do everything I can."

Pickett wasn't kidding, either, because he admitted in April to sleeping in a splint in hopes of stretching his hand out a bit. His hand measured 8½ inches at the combine and then 8⅝ inches at his pro day, so the tricks worked somewhat.

In both cases, the 24-year-old was still below the magic number of nine, which didn't stop the Steelers from selecting him 20th overall in the 2022 NFL draft.

The early returns are encouraging, though the Pitt product still has some flaws to iron out. In 13 appearances, he threw for 2,404 yards, seven touchdowns and nine interceptions as a rookie. His 51.5 QBR was tied for 19th in the league.

Pickett will enter the 2023 season as the unquestioned starter for Pittsburgh, so he'll have an opportunity to firmly cement himself as the franchise QB.