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Why Jared Goff's small hands matter

Cal QB Jared Goff checked in with 9-inch hands on Thursday at the NFL combine. Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports

Small hands for quarterbacks are like short arms for left tackles -- an immediate red flag for NFL evaluators. Anything less than 9 inches is considered too small in a league where ball security is a point of emphasis for every team.

So it was alarming when Jared Goff's hands measured exactly 9 inches on Thursday. The Cal QB arrived in Indy as my No. 2 QB and No. 9 overall player -- and there's a lot to like about him when you turn on the tape. He has a smooth release, a great work ethic and a high football IQ.

But the reason we're talking about this today is because of how rare it is for a top-flight QB prospect to check in with hands that small.