Johnny Manziel has large hands. This is not news. Outside of his masterful improvisation in the pocket and blazing speed, Manziel’s hands are his best asset. Large hands are also good for double-fisting beers.
But quarterbacks were measured at the NFL Combine this morning, and thus Manziel’s large hands are once again, a talking point. Here are the all-important (snicker) measurements:
Johnny Manziel 9 7/8
Blake Bortles 9 3/8
Teddy Bridgewater 9 1/4 [<—This is going to be an “issue.” He wore two gloves in college!]
Context: Geno Smith last year: 9.28. Matt Barkley’s hands measured at 10.08. EJ Manuel had the largest in 2013, at 10.38. Russell Wilson measured 10 1/4 in 2012. Ryan Tannehill came in at just 9. And we’ll cap things with this: Colin Kaepernick in 2011: 9 1/8.
Height & Weight:
Johnny Manziel 5-11 3/4, 207 lbs
Blake Bortles – 6-5, 232 lbs
Teddy Bridgewater – 6-2 1/8, 214 lbs
Context: Russell Wilson, who many will compare Manziel to, measured 5-10 1/2 and 204 pounds. Completely based on height/weight, Bridgewater is very similar to Geno Smith (6-2, 218) and Andy Dalton (6-2, 215) just cherry-picking QBs from the last few drafts. Kaepernick measured 6-5, 233 in 2011 but he’ll run a much faster 40 time than Bortles (4.53).
None of the above matters much to me. Where was the outcry for Tannehill’s tiny hands? Or Kaepernick, who one pundit thinks could be the greatest QB of all-time? If I’m Houston with the first pick, I’m looking at two guys: Teddy Bridgewater or Mr. Clowney. I love Manziel. If you’ve been reading this site for the last two years, you know this. But if I’m the GM of Houston, I lean Bridgewater. Is he perhaps the “safer” pick? Probably. Another option is Clowney 1st and then taking a QB whom I love, but few others do, Zach Mettenberger, at the start of the 2nd round.
But because of everything else Manziel brings to the table – he’ll be Tebow-ish in marketing, pageviews and for getting someone national TV games – Houston’s smart move would be to act as if it wants Manziel and hope someone trades up to get him.
I think this is my favorite non-joking tweet about Manziel’s hands:
Johnny Manziel’s hand size just short of 10 inches (9 7/8) very much a positive. All-weather size. Can control ball, throwing & handling
— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) February 21, 2014
Related: Johnny Manziel is Either the Consensus No. 1 Quarterback, or Opinion is Very Divided, Depending on Which ESPN Draft Expert You Believe
Related: The Cleveland Browns are ‘willing to trade up’ for Johnny Manziel, But Still Have No Coach
Related: Johnny Manziel: If Texans Don’t Take Me No. 1, “It would be the worst decision they’ve ever made”