The NFL world breathed a sigh of relief on Thursday when North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky measured 6 feet, 2 inches at the NFL Combine, demolishing any questions about his height. Despite the height euphoria, Trubisky’s measurables might be troubling in one other key area.
Mitts, paws, or simply hands, whatever they might be called these days - Trubisky’s are a tad small. Not Donald Trump small, mind you, but a bit small. While his height numbers will likely get him to be a top five pick in April’s NFL Draft, what could scare away teams is the fact that he measured 9 1/2” with the spread of his hands. That’s a bit smaller than the norm. The NFL average usually hovers somewhere around 9 3/5” to 9 3/4”inches for quarterbacks.
“It wasn’t good news,” one scout told Metro on Trubisky’s hand measurement. The scout spoke on the condition of anonymity and is currently at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. “He’s not the biggest of guys and then he has these smallish hands. One in and of itself isn’t a concern. But both? It makes you have to go back and really look at his tape to see if there are ball control issues that maybe aren’t exposed at the college level but could be an issue in the NFL.
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“Not saying you knock him down, but now you have to go back and look.”
Especially when stacked against New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who measured in at the same height as Trubisky at his combine check-in but has massive 10 ¼ inch hands. Russell Wilson is considerably shorter than Trubisky at 5’11” but his hands also ticked off 10 1/4".
It could well be a concern for some teams given that Trubisky is still a bit short for a desirable starting quarterback and now has slightly than smaller hands.
Consider that DeShone Kizer (9 7/8 inches) and Deshaun Watson (9 3/inches) both eclipsed Trubisky during their own measurings at the NFL Combine and on Thursday and it will stick out to teams and scouts when they look at ball security from his days at North Carolina.
For example there is the limited case study on Jared Goff, the No. 1 pick last year, who measured in with just 9” hands. Now perhaps it is easy to see why he had five fumbles in just seven NFL appearances last year for the Los Angeles Rams. It is simply more difficult to get a grip on the ball with smaller hands and hold onto it when defensive linemen are chasing you down, trying to swat it out of your clutch.
Trubisky is now a bit shorter than most NFL starting quarterbacks and couples that with smaller than average hands for a signal caller in this league.
The same issue with Goff could be said for Geno Smith, whose hands measured in at 9 1/4" at the NFL Combine in 2013. Smith has struggled with ball security issues during his time in New York, two years of which he was the starter. Smaller hands make things difficult for a quarterback.
It might also be something that could keep Trubisky from being the No. 1 overall selection.