I can’t imagine how stressful it must be to be a prospect at the NFL combine, where every aspect of your physical being is broken down and scrutinized in absurd detail, and the slightest deficiency can sink your draft stock. So it’s no wonder that Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen is stressed out about his little hands.
Hand size has long been a boogeyman of sorts when it comes to evaluating quarterbacks, the idea being that guys with smaller hands can’t grip the ball in cold weather or put as much zip on their passes. I have no idea of there’s any real empirical data to back this assumption up—Alex Smith, Tony Romo, and Michael Vick all had small hand measurements at their combines, for what’s it worth—but the ol’ gunslinger Brett Favre has huge hands, so that’s enough to get scouts all worked up about hand size.
Allen, whose hands measured 8.5 inches at the Senior Bowl, is aware of what the small hands label can do to his draft stock, and so he’s taken steps to try and increase his measurement. From Fox Sports:
“It’s obviously something I can’t control,” Allen said, before adding that as part of his draft training process, the masseuse who helps the athletes with recovery has also been working twice a week on stretching out the QB’s hands “to maybe get another 1/2 inch or 1/4 inch here or there because the muscles in my hands were really tight and this can loosen them up. I have long fingers.
“It’s worth a shot.”
My advice to Allen would be to just relax and accept his little hands for what they are. Zach Ertz was all worried about his T-Rex arms when he went into the combine, and he kind of kicks ass now.