2017 NFL Scouting Combine Weigh-In Analysis: QB/WR/TE

Let’s get the quarterback measurements out of the way first. Height is quite frankly a non-correlative variable in QB success historically speaking. Yet everyone puts a lot of weight into height. They go with the Russell Wilson is the exception, not the rule line of thinking. Which I guess you can do until you find that the data shows that there is no significant difference between the chances of getting a starter or quality starting quarterback from the 5-10 to 6-5 area of height.

Some of that is due to 5-10 QBs being a fairly rare occurrence, or teams having an aversion to starting(possible biases). But there are far more relevant variables to consider at quarterback than height. And one of those variables is hand size. The smallest hands for a starting QB since 1999 were 8.5 inches by Michael Vick. But I like the threshold at 9-inches which encompasses every quality NFL QB with the exception of Michael Vick(if you view Vick as a high quality quarterback of course).

And every QB hit the 9-inch threshold. So onto the wide receiver position. At the wide out spot measurables are more about how they win. As a supreme route runner doesn’t need to have extremely long arms. But if a wide receiver wins by boxing out defenders and dominating defensive backs with size/length.

They better have size and length. And the general quality thresholds for the wide receiver position are as such.

  • 80% of All-Pro and Pro Bowl WRs who were 6-2 or taller had at least 32 5/8-inch arm length with the exception of the athletic freak Vincent Jackson.
  • While 100% of All-Pro and Pro Bowl WRs at 6-1 or shorter had at least 29 3/4-inch arm length

All of these are quality thresholds, not starter thresholds. If a WR doesn’t hit one of these marks. It’s more a flag about overall upside potential. And the WRs with less upside potential based on the Arm Length thresholds are:

  1. Zay Jones
  2. Jalen Robinette
  3. Krishawn Hogan
  4. Chad Hansen
  5. Kenny Golliday
  6. Zach Pascal
  7. Quincy Adeboyejo
  8. Noah Brown
  9. Josh Reynolds
  10. Cooper Kupp
  11. Jerome Lane
  12. Malachi Dupre
  13. Josh Malone
  14. Isaiah McKenzie
  15. Trent Taylor
  16. Ryan Switzer

The last measure before we get into tight end is hand size at wide receiver. It is the one measure everyone makes a big deal about, but the benchmark for quality hand size is 8 7/8-inch hand size across all height groups. And there are plenty of starters with less than 8 7/8-inch hands. So remember this is a quality threshold, not quantity. And the WRs who didn’t hit at least 8 7/8-inch hand size are:

  1. John Ross
  2. Gabe Marks
  3. Noel Thomas
  4. Kermit Whitfield
  5. Trent Taylor

They still have a shot at being starting wide receivers, but they are statistically less likely to be All-Pro or Pro Bowl level prospects.

At tight end length and size are big indicators of consistently elite tight ends. And this class only had one player meet the All-Pro level arm length and hand size combo in Jeremy Sprinkle. But many players hit the Pro Bowl level arm length and hand size combo. Those players were

  1.  Pharoah Brown
  2. David Njoku
  3. Darrell Daniels
  4. O.J. Howard
  5. Eric Saubert
  6. Jordan Leggett
  7. Evan Engram
  8. Adam Shaheen
  9. Michael Roberts
  10. Scott Orndoff
  11. Billy Brown
  12. Cole Hikutini
  13. Bucky Hodges
  14. Hayden Plinke

Arm length and hand size measures speak to whether we have another Jimmy Graham or Rob Gronkowski in this class. And unfortunately, I don’t see many who meet those marks. But could we have Greg Olsens and many other tight ends who will go on to have above average careers from a physical characteristics.

And lastly, hand size at tight end. The threshold for long-term starting tight ends is 9-inches. The only tight end to not meet that threshold was Gerald Everett. There is some debate about whether he is a tight end or not. But his hand size of 8.5-inches is fairly small even for a wide receiver.

This concludes the examination of the QB/WR/TE position weigh-in results. I will continue to post as the information leaks from the combine. And if you have any question feel free to contact me at james_cobern@yahoo.com or on twitter @Jimetrics.




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