All hands on deck
All right. Let’s put this hand-size situation in perspective.
All of a sudden, it seems as though the size of a quarterback’s hands ostensibly can be an important, if not determining, factor in the selection process for the National Football League college draft.
And with the Browns definitely taking the top pick in Thursday night’s opening salvo of the three-day lottery extravaganza, how big a player’s hands might very well be the key factor who the club’s selects.
Cleveland General Manager John Dorsey during his pre-draft media session a couple of days ago dropped what is being perceived as a large hint as to how he is thinking when asked what he looks for in an AFC North quarterback.
“You all laugh at me when I say it, but I think hand size is important,” he said with a straight face. “Hand size in November and December, when it’s snowing and raining, it’s getting muddy, we all know the elements in Cleveland are going to play a role.”
That was said by the man who, as GM of the Kanas City Chiefs, drafted Patrick Mahomes II and his 9¼-inch hands a year ago. Of course, he could argue the meteorological elements in Kansas City are not nearly as harsh as in Cleveland during the final two months of the year.
What makes Dorsey’s remarks so interesting is that the rumors are rife he will select Josh Allen and his 10 1/8-inch hands for the very reason he stated. He wants big mitts on the football when it gets sloppy.
It appears to be a not-so-subtle hint that Sam Darnold, with his measly 9 3/8-inch paws, will lose the beauty contest to Allen and most likely wind up with the New York Giants at No. 2.
Dorsey sure seemed to intimate hand size will be the determining factor with regard to the future of this franchise. Or did he?
This might be yet another swerve as he continues to toy with the media, local and national, in what seems to be a game with him. The art of deceit. Say one thing and mean something entirely different.
While he probably has a shred or two of belief that hand size is important, Dorsey has been around long enough to realize there are many other factors that enter into such an important choice for a team in desperate need for a franchise quarterback.
I’d like to think hand size is not important enough to stand in the way of making the correct choice in a job where every move is, at best, a gamble.
If that were the case, a lot of pretty good quarterbacks down through the years might not have achieved success based on their hand size, whereas others with larger hands have failed abysmally.
Tom Brady, who owns enough Super Bowl rings to cover one hand, has the same hand size as Darnold at 9 3/8 inches. Aaron Rodgers is another member of the 9 3/8-inch fraternity.
Eli Manning, a two-time Super Bowl winner, has 9 1/8-inch mitts. Jared Goff, who quarterbacked the Los Angeles Rams to the playoffs last season in his second year, barely makes it into the ring at an even nine inches.
Other successful quarterbacks with average size hands include Philip Rivers (9¼ inches), Matt Ryan (9½), Joe Flacco (9 5/8), Alex Smith (9 3/8) and Jameis Winston (9 3/8). Jimmy Garoppolo and his 9¼-inch hands turned around the San Francisco 49ers fortunes last season.
On the plus side of the hand-size argument, Ben Roethlisberger owns 9 7/8-inch hands (the same as Johnny Manziel). So does Cam Newton, A couple of little guys, Drew Brees and Russell Wilson, check in at 10¼ inches. Brett Favre’s hands measured 10 3/8 inches.
Know who else has big hands? Tyrod Taylor, the Browns’ newest quarterback, stretches out to an even 10 inches. Ponder that for a while. Speaking of Ponder, Christian Ponder had one good season with Minnesota before flaming out with his 10¼-inch hands.
If hand size was that important, the Browns would never have traded Cody Kessler and his 10 7/8-inch hands to Jacksonville and Kevin Hogan, who was a bit smaller at 10¼ inches, to Washington.
So Dorsey is either putting the media on with such drivel with this hand size thing or he has a very short memory (with regard to Mahomes). Right now, drivel has the lead in the clubhouse.
As it turns out, points can be scored on both sides of the argument, which usually results in a draw. It also means that Allen’s chances of being selected by the Browns at the top of the draft do not necessarily lie with the size of his hands.
In the end, it’s not about the hands. It’s about what lies between the ears.