NFL Combine 2013 results: How long will Zach Ertz's short arms matter?

Steve Dykes

So Zach Ertz has short arms compared to the rest of the tight end prospects after measurements at the NFL Combine on Thursday. Will it matter come draft time?

The 2013 NFL Combine has barely begun, but the thirst for new and constant information on the future professional footballers who'll be working out over the coming days doesn't get quenched so close to such an anticipated offseason event. Even if the story can be measured in inches.

That's why, as offensive linemen, special teams players and tight ends got their official heights, weights and wingspans recorded on Thursday, news that Stanford tight end Zach Ertz has shorter-than-your-average arms compared to other prospects at the position drew plenty of the day's attention.

Ertz is one of the top tight end prospects in this year's class -- he's No. 2 on SB Nation's positional rankings -- making his 31-3/4 inch arms measurement more of a potential issue for a team looking to make a high round investment. In comparison, other top prospects such as Tyler Eifert from the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Gavin Escobar from the San Diego State Aztecs recorded arm lengths of 33 5/8 inches and 33 inches, respectively.

So, will any of this matter once workouts begin? Time will ultimately tell, but SB Nation's Dan Kadar believes that Ertz's role and preparation in Stanford's pro-style offense make the junior tight end ready for the NFL. NFLDraftScout.com's Rob Rang addresses the arms-length issue head-on, saying that pass-catching and blocking, especially against more-athletic defenders in the NFL, could be affected by a shorter reach.

Tight ends go through their Combine workouts on Saturday, and scouts, along with the news-hungry general public, will likely know much more about Ertz and how he compares to others at his position with a little more information to look over.

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