Only the Super Bowl stands in the way of the start of the NFL offseason, which will officially get underway at 4 p.m. on March 16.
It feels like the Washington Commanders season ended yesterday. But before you know it, free agency will come and go in the blink of an eye like it always does and everyone’s focus will shift to the 2022 draft.
Speaking of which, the Commanders could go a myriad of directions with the No. 11 overall pick. Depending on who’s drafted before them, they could adopt the best player available strategy, which almost never fails.
Depending on how free agency or the trade market unfolds, Washington could draft a quarterback no matter the situation.
It’s widely expected that Kenny Pickett will be the first QB off the board and he could fall to Washington. There’s a lot to love about Pickett’s game, but a silly narrative surfaced this week that could, but shouldn’t, impact his stock.
Leading up to this week’s Senior Bowl, the Pittsburgh standout decided against having his hand size measured. Since this is viewed as a big deal, Pickett had to explain himself to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
Washington Commanders draft target Kenny Pickett explained why his hands weren’t measured at the 2022 Senior Bowl.
Nothing to see here, folks. Just a bunch of draft whisperers trying to hold Pickett’s hand size against him.
Every year leading up to the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine, analysts engage in debates about a quarterback’s hand size, somehow drawing the conclusion that not meeting a certain measurement could limit their ceiling as a pro.
Pickett’s hands are smaller than most QBs.
Last spring, scouts measured them at 8 1/4 inches, putting him in the 0th percentile among NFL quarterbacks. Not every team holds hand size in a high regard when it comes to evaluating quarterback prospects, but this seems destined to be a story leading up to draft night.
Pickett, who plays with two gloves, wisely referenced that he hasn’t played in a quarterback-friendly climate in his career (he was born in New Jersey and played at Pitt) and his hand size hasn’t caused him any fumbling concerns.
"“I think that’s like the No. 1 thing for quarterbacks in the draft process every year is hand size,” Pickett said, via ESPN.com.“The good news is that I play in Pittsburgh. Anyone that’s been to Pittsburgh knows it’s not the nicest place to play in October, November. So I’ve had experience playing in tough weather and I didn’t measure in this week. I just want to give the most measurement I can. I’m working on mobility things.”"
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Speaking of which, Pickett has already endorsed the Commanders moniker, so he clearly knows what he’s talking about!
Loved hearing that! Anyway, back to the matter at hand …
Jared Goff was the poster-child for this narrative when he was drafted and he’s went on to enjoy a fine career.
On top of appearing in a Super Bowl with the Rams, he owns a 45-37-1 career record and a 64.1% completion percentage to go with 126 touchdowns and 63 touchdowns. Yes, Goff has struggled with fumbles, but let’s not pretend like THAT’s the reason Los Angeles traded him to Detroit last offseason.
Joe Burrow’s an even better example. His hands were measured at 9 inches at the 2020 combine, which was the smallest among first-round QBs since 2008. He now has the Bengals in their first Super Bowl since 1998.
After reading up on the criticism that stemmed from that measurement, Burrow put every critic in a bodybag with an iconic tweet.
Bottom line? If you can play, you can play and Pickett can play.