INDIANAPOLIS — As a three-year starter in Athens, Jake Fromm guided Georgia to a 35-7 record with three straight SEC East titles. Despite leaving the Bulldogs with a year of eligibility remaining, he still finished his UGA career with top-five school marks in passing yards (8,224) and touchdowns (78, against just 18 interceptions). But at the poke-and-prod palooza that is the NFL Scouting Combine, Fromm created some news with a different kind of figure:
His 8 7/8-inch hand size.
Fromm didn’t post the smallest QB mark in Monday’s mitt measurements — that was Princeton’s Kevin Davidson, at 8 1/4 inches — but the higher-profile signal-caller became the posterboy of our annual hand-size debate (and the debate about whether it’s worth debating). At his media scrum in Indy on Tuesday, the 6-foot-2, 219-pounder laughed off this newfound interest in his right gripper.
"It’s an eighth of an inch away from being the desired 9 inches — no big deal," Fromm said of the measurement, which spans from the tip of the thumb across the palm to the tip of the pinky. "It’s the same hand that went to three SEC championships, you know, a Rose Bowl, a national championship and some Sugar Bowls. So I think it’s played plenty of football and done well enough so far."
For what it’s worth, expected No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow barely hit the widely cited/loosely vetted 9-inch threshold, checking in at 9 inches exactly. Furthermore, Super Bowl LIV MVP Patrick Mahomes has acquitted himself just fine with a 9 1/4-inch throwing hand — less than half an inch larger than Fromm’s.
Still, the Georgia quarterback was questioned on Tuesday about his transition to the larger NFL football.
"It’s definitely one that you have to get used to, but man, once you really kind of home in on that ball, it’s a great ball," Fromm said. "It was kinda fun the first two weeks, trying to get used to it, and then now, once you’re ready for it, it’s awesome."
What about inclement weather, though? Did hand size come into play last October, when Fromm posted a career-low 35 yards passing in Georgia’s rain-soaked, 21-0 win over Kentucky? Inquiring minds must know.
"I mean, any game where you go in where it’s just pouring rain, I think it’s just tough on anybody," Fromm said. "Whether you have an 11-inch hand or you have an 8 1/2-inch hand or a 9-inch hand, I think it’s just part of … it’s gonna be tough."
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Frankly, skepticism about this particular passer’s physical makeup is nothing new. Fromm, who’s ranked as the No. 5 quarterback and No. 50 overall prospect on NFL Media draft guru Daniel Jeremiah’s latest big board, isn’t expected to turn heads with his arm talent during Thursday night’s on-field workout. He’s known for his high football IQ, advanced pocket awareness and refined leadership skills. And he looks up to another quarterback who faced pre-draft questions of his own about particular measurements nearly two decades ago.
"I would love to try to emulate my game the best way possible after Drew Brees," Fromm said. "The way he approaches the game. The way he works. The way he throws. Hopefully, I can be as close to him as possible."
Brees checked in at just over 6 feet tall and 213 pounds back at the 2001 combine. The future Hall of Famer did, however, boast a 10 1/2-inch hand — just a hair less than Monday’s QB Hand King, Brian Lewerke (10 5/8).
Follow Gennaro Filice on Twitter @GennaroFilice.
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