2014 Scouting Combine: A Careful Measure of Measurements

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

A note of caution regarding measurements for prospects.

One of the most popular and oft-used expressions here at The Falcoholic is "T-Rex arms." If you haven't heard it used in reference to Sam Baker, you must be new here. Welcome!

The implication, of course, is that Baker has short arms and that short arms are a problem for left tackles. That's one of the most enduring talking points of draft season, and with measurements for offensive linemen in, there's already some muted fretting over the relatively short arms of Jake Matthews.

Every time someone takes a closer look at this, the correlation that shows up between long arms and NFL success at tackle is weak at best. You could make the case that choosing tackles with longer arms is generally a better practice, but you have to do so knowing there isn't an enormous amount of evidence for that claim. And this brings us to the issue with measurements in the first place.

Russell Wilson's height didn't matter. Robert Gallery's protoype size didn't do him many favors. Certainly nobody is laughing about Maurice Jones-Drew's career because of his size now. And so on and so forth. There are plenty of examples of protoype players thriving and failing, and it's because measurements are not where you want to hang your hat when you're evaluating prospects. Sam Baker's arms are far from the only reason that Baker has had a middling career to this point.

Keep that in mind when you start hearing that Jace Amaro is built like Rob Gronkowski or Greg Robinson is a mountain in a jersey. I happen to like both players, and I think they'll be fine pros. Just ensure that you're weighing those measurements as a small part of the pie alongside game tape, college production, makeup and performance in those Combine drills. A fuller picture benefits everyone.

Thoughts?

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