It's time once again for the NFL Draft, which means it's also time for an NFL Draft Sport Science. Each year, teams and analysts break down every aspect of prospects' games, from game tape to Combine performances. And each year, there are some hotly debated players in the lead-up to the Draft. This year, one of the biggest talking points: Hand Size. Specifically, the small hand measurements of Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett, who will likely be a first-round selection on Thursday night. Just how big of a deal is a quarterback's hand-size? We took a deep dive to figure it out.
3D-modeling was incredibly important on this Sport Science, because hand size is really difficult to show in game footage. We used a series of different 3D graphics to help the audience better visualize how hand size could affect a QB's play. We utilized 3D-rendered hands and footballs to map out just how small Pickett's hands would be gripping the football, and to give the audience a better sense of the difference between Pickett and the league average. We also used our full render of Pickett, as well as a 3D exoskeleton, to break down how different muscle groups contribute to the throwing motion. Given that we were focusing on such a minute detail, we really had to go through our full bag of tricks to properly get our point across.
Outside of our 3D models, we used several player comparisons to help contextualize Pickett's actual measurements, which allowed us to bring Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes in as references! As always, we leaned on spot shadows and ball trackers to highlight certain aspects of Pickett's game while highlight footage was rolling.
Hand size might be a big deal to NFL scouts, but the average fan just wants to see spectacular plays – and Kenny Pickett certainly delivers on that. Where will he end up getting drafted? Tune in Thursday night to find out!