Ok, I confess, I don't know who the hell has Betty Davis eyes, but I do know who has Jimmy Clausen hands. Drum roll please.................................................................ME!
Jimmy Clausen's stock continues to rise among NFL insiders and Walterfootball.com has him going at number 4 to the Washington Redskins.
Despite the fact that he's got great stats and has played in an "NFL style offense", I think drafting Clausen poses a higher risk to teams than has been reported.
Upon learning that Jimmy Clausen had the smallest hands of any Quarterback at this years NFL combine, that being 9 inches from the base of the palm to the top of the "bird" finger, I got out a ruler and measured my own throwing hand.
Guess what? Nine inches exactly. I've got Jimmy Clausen hands.
I should point out here, that nine inches is nine inches whether attached to a Jimmy Clausen or an ageing and out of shape, draft beer guzzling, meat and potatoes eating, fifty-something dad, like myself. Jimmy couldn't palm a basketball for any longer than I can. We have the same ability to grip things. Period.
To further emphasize my point, how many QB fumbles do you think you'd see, if they were throwing a tennis ball out there?. I would argue none. They can completely wrap their entire hand around a tennis ball, and wave it quickly through the air, without fear of losing control. The only way to jar it loose would be to first render the quarterback unconscious so that he loses control of his hand muscles.
Now...obviously, I'm no Jimmy Clausen, but that doesn't mean I can't get a feel as to what it feels like to throw a regulation NFL sized football with a nine inch hand, and I wanted to do just that..... so I grabbed a ball, and went out back for a good old fashion game of "go deep" with my brother.
It's worthy to point out at this juncture, that a regulation NFL football, is 28 inches to 28.5 inches around.
So..... a nine inch hand is capable of grasping about one inch less than one third of the ball's circumference.
For this nine inch hand, it became apparent to me, that in order to throw the ball successfully, I had to rely more on arm mechanics than hand and wrist mechanics during my release in order to maintain control of the ball and obtain a spiral, and to get the ball moving in the right direction.
The second I thought I had it down, and forgot to respect gravity or use the right upper arm motion and mechanics to get a good release on the ball, disaster ensued.
Like I said, I'm no Jimmy Clausen.
The point I'm trying to make here is that I believe that a QB with 9 inch hands constitutes a significant risk for fumbling and throwing IT's in the faster game which is the NFL.
How many times have we seen a hurried QB's arm go back and then forward, only to see the ball flop out at the beginning of his forward throwing motion?
Mix in a little NFL contact at the time his throwing arm is in motion, and I believe, you have a big problem.
If I'm the Washington Redskin's GM, this is a factor which should not be overlooked, and if I'm the one making the pick, I would pass on Jimmy Clausen.
I'm not saying he'll be a certain bust in the NFL, or that he shouldn't be drafted. Just that I think he's too risky for this reason to go in the first round. If I need a QB and he's there in the third round (which he won't be of course) well then sure..I'd take a chance on him. It's not my money anyway.
I know many of you will think that's insane and Jimmy may prove to be an exception to the rule and have a long career despite this adversity, but I can't help considering how a nine inch throwing hand translates to the speed game of the NFL.
There have been countless 1st round quarterbacks go bust in the NFL. Can anyone say, "Ryan Leaf"?
Amazing to think that he was the number 2 pick overall by the Chargers in the 98 draft, and that at the time, the big debate was who was better, Peyton Manning or Ryan Leaf. The amazing thing is that the Leaf fans, didn't think he was better than Manning, they knew he was.
This year, it's Sam Bradford and Jimmy Clausen being touted as the year's two best available QB's, and while I hate to disappoint all you Jimmy fans, I just have to say, that at this point, I think that Jimmy Clausen has a good chance of becoming the next Ryan Leaf.
Why? Because he has my sized hands.
I wouldn't draft me and I wouldn't draft Jimmy Clausen.