The 2020 NFL Scouting Combine is here, which means draftniks are doing what they do best: freaking out over very silly things. The latest centers on quarterback Joe Burrow, widely considered the favorite to be the first overall pick by the Bengals in the draft. So, what deficiency have we decided to overanalyze this time?
Burrow has smallish hands.
Every year, there is always a quarterback prospect whose hands measure a bit smaller than the rest of the pack, and the reaction is typically overblown. Burrow’s hands came in at nine inches, leading some “experts” to question whether or not he’ll have trouble adapting to the slightly larger ball in the NFL, despite the notable small-handed quarterbacks who have come before him.
Burrow, to his credit, is taking it all in stride.
Considering retirement after I was informed the football will be slipping out of my tiny hands. Please keep me in your thoughts.— Joey Burrow (@Joe_Burrow10) February 24, 2020
This is a pretty fantastic response from the young quarterback. Hand size is a legitimate measurement, but do the people talking about this really think that Burrow has made it this far as a quarterback without ever throwing an NFL-regulation football? He’s not going to show up to Bengals camp, pick up a football, and start panicking. If there was a problem with his ability to hold onto the ball, we’d know about it.
And for those thinking about wet weather games, where it’s easier to lose grip on a football: Burrow didn’t play in too many of them at LSU, but in the five that he did play, he posted an 8:2 touchdown to interception ratio. On top of that, hand measurements are often imprecise and misleading, and altogether, you’ve got a perfect storm of overreaction.
Patrick Mahomes — who is coming off a Super Bowl victory, if you’ve forgotten — also weighed in with a pretty great response:
My small hands are doing alright so far....i believe in ya https://t.co/o0UUwkSeOq— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) February 24, 2020
Mahomes is one of the most dynamic playmakers we’ve ever seen at quarterback, and his hands measure at 9 1/4 inches, only slightly larger than Burrow’s.
This is the same quarterback who just earned the Heisman Trophy for his play, and who helped topple Clemson in the College Football Playoff National Championship. Just look at his stats from then (and his perfectly capable hands!):
Joe Burrow vs. Clemson— SB Nation (@SBNation) January 14, 2020
• 5 passing touchdowns
• 463 passing yards
• 1 rushing touchdown
• 58 rushing yards
• broke the FBS single-season
passing TD record (60)
• 1 National Championship #NationalChampionship @valleyshook pic.twitter.com/ab4vBNcPwT
There really isn’t much more to say about all this than what Burrow offered. Of course the man knows he can grip and throw an NFL football. No scout attends the combine, gets surprised by a hand measurement, then removes a guy from his draft board ... well, no good ones anyway.