The most anticipated hand-size measurement of all the quarterbacks at the Reese's Senior Bowl will now have to gather a little more anticipation.
Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett, whose hands are said to be quite small -- an AFC area scout whose region includes Pitt told NFL.com earlier this month that it's "under 9 (inches), for sure" -- declined to be measured on Monday when scouts took official measurements.
Instead, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, Pickett will wait until March's NFL Scouting Combine to be measured because of a double-jointed thumb. Pickett will do hand exercises in the coming weeks in order to develop a more accurate measurement when the combine convenes in Indianapolis.
Hand size for quarterbacks is of interest to NFL scouts -- some more than others, and particularly those from cold-weather teams -- because it can be an indicator for ball security. A measurement of 9 inches is generally considered to be adequate.
"It matters because we play in a division where all of a sudden there's rain, there's snow and it's different," former Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson once said at the combine. "I think guys that have big hands can grip the ball better in those environmental situations."
It's not the first time a quarterback has put his throwing hand through the rigors of therapy in order to increase his measurement.
Cincinnati Bengals backup quarterback Brandon Allen managed to increase his hand measurement by 3/8 of an inch between the 2016 Senior Bowl and that year's combine through massage therapy.
But Pickett, one of the top quarterback prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft, should worry not.
After all, Bengals starter Joe Burrow plays in a cold-enough town himself, and he went through the same hand-size questions as a draft prospect. His hands measured an even 9" at the 2020 combine. It didn't prevent him from being the No. 1 overall pick of the 2020 draft, however, and clearly did not prevent him from leading the Bengals to a Super Bowl berth this year.
"Considering retirement after I was informed the football will be slipping out of my tiny hands," Burrow joked, via Twitter at the time. "Please keep me in your thoughts."