The Cleveland Browns desperately need a quarterback. Lucky for them, they’re sitting pretty with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. This is also a fairly strong draft class at the quarterback position, with Cal’s Jared Goff and North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz leading the way.
Goff looks to be the more polished prospect, and he competed against better competition in college. However, Wentz is a bit more physically impressive, and he also sports a larger pair of hands. At the Combine, Wentz’s mitts measured 10 inches to Goff’s 9. Typically, a hand size of at least 9-1/8 inches is considered the “magic number” for NFL QBs. Hand size can be an important component of quarterback play, especially in a city with weather like Cleveland.
“It matters because we play in a division where all of a sudden there’s rain, there’s snow and it’s different. I think guys that have big hands can grip the ball better in those environmental situations,” Browns head coach Hue Jackson said at a Combine press conference.
Goff’s recent Pro Day should go a long way toward putting hand-related worries to rest. Miraculously, his hand size measured 9-1/8 inches, an eighth of an inch larger than they were a few weeks ago at the Combine. Perhaps he’s been getting hand massages.
The increase in hand size is nice, but the most encouraging sign was how well Goff performed with a wet ball. The Browns attended Goff’s Pro Day, and they wanted to see what he could do with a waterlogged pigskin. Quarterbacks coach Pep Hamilton stepped up, doused a ball in water and had Goff perform some drills.
Goff reportedly performed well with the wet ball, which should impress the rain-soaked Browns.
“[The ball] was pretty wet. I think that’s as wet as it gets when they just pour water on it,” Goff told CSN Bay Area after his workout. He also pointed out that he understands the concerns about a QB from California performing well in the cold, but cites Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers as proof that it can be done.
“It makes sense. But at the same time, I’ve played in cold weather before. I wouldn’t be the first quarterback from California to play in cold weather. Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers have done pretty well. They’ve been able to do it,” Goff said.
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