Does Drew Lock’s hand size matter for the Broncos as much as Kyler Murray’s height seems to matter?
The NFL Scouting Combine is where every prospect is analyzed down to the finer details of their athletic and physical makeup. For the quarterback position, hand size has always been a big deal.
Why does hand size matter?
Well, hand size helps quarterbacks ‘manipulate‘ the football as Chip Kelly once put it. Having bigger hands means more control over the football, which is important for guys getting hit from behind, getting enough RPMs on the ball, controlling the ball in bad weather, and a variety of other reasons.
Every NFL team is different, but John Elway is on record saying that he believes hand size is ‘important’. Elway himself has 10 1/8-inch hands, and the year he said hand size is important, he drafted Paxton Lynch in the first round (Lynch’s hands are a solid 10 1/4 inches).
Lynch’s hand size dwarfs the hands of Drew Lock, which measured at exactly nine inches at the 2019 Scouting Combine.
There’s an unwritten ‘minimum’ among NFL teams of 9 1/4-inches, which means Lock’s nine-inch hands come in below the threshold. Combine that with the fact that he had just one season of college football with over 60 percent of his passes completed, and you may have a couple of reasons to pause before thinking John Elway is just going to pull the trigger on Lock no matter what.
The Broncos like Lock, and Elway was in person to see him play Arkansas. The biggest question with hand size — in my opinion — is not whether a quarterback has a certain size of hands (within reason) but whether or not that hand size affects the quarterback during actual games.
That didn’t seem to be the case when I’ve studied Lock.
Senior Bowl director Jim Nagy agrees.
The question is not whether some people diminish the importance of hand size, but whether John Elway himself will make an exception.
Brock Osweiler, the first QB Elway drafted in Denver, has 9 7/8-inch hands.
Zac Dysert, drafted in 2013, has 9 1/8-inch hands.
Trevor Siemian’s hand size is 9 7/8 inches.
Chad Kelly’s hands are 9 1/8 inches.
Lynch has the biggest Elway ever drafted at 10 1/4 inches. Lock would have the smallest.
It’s hard to say whether this would be a major factor for Elway. The Broncos brought in Joe Flacco this offseason when they could have just kept Case Keenum, drafted a guy high, and looked for every reason to bench him.
I’m leaning more and more toward the idea that Denver won’t take Drew Lock in the first round, and that he will end up on another team like Miami or Washington. For me, that has nothing to do with hand size. For Elway, it might.