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Old 08-06-2013   #1
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Default Does Arm Length Affect OT Play?

Does Arm Length Affect OT Play?
Nate Washuta | August 6, 2013


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Editor’s note: Guest contributor Nate Washuta was invited to share his thoughts on the subject.

Every year, draft picks rise and fall because of their physical attributes. College kids show up at the combine or their pro days, strip down to their underwear, and are poked and prodded and critiqued to determine how they measure up to their peers. NFL teams test everything with even a remote connection to football performance. Some of these make logical sense. A wide receiver that’s faster or can jump higher has a competitive advantage over smaller defenders. While the actual validity of things like the 40-yard dash and the vertical leap are widely debated, the one metric that has always perplexed me the most is the arm length of an offensive tackle.

It’s often argued that guys with longer arms are better able to keep defenders at bay and that a player with short arms simply can’t be successful. This is especially confusing when considering that there is no real consensus on what are considered “long” or “short” arms. I quite often see a scouting report where 34” arms are called long, while 33 ¼” arms are considered short by the same scouting service. Look at a ruler and measure out ¾ of an inch. Does it seem logical that such a small distance makes such a big difference in holding off defenders?

With that in mind, I decided to look at PFF data to see how much of a difference arm length truly makes in offensive lineman performance. If the popular narrative is correct, there should be a significant drop-off somewhere between 33 and 34 inches...
read more here: https://www.profootballfocus.com/blo...ffect-ot-play/
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Old 08-06-2013   #2
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Default Re: Does Arm Length Affect OT Play?

Interesting article. Thanks for posting.

Eric Winston was found to have an arm length at the Combine of 32 1/4..........but by the time the Rams were entertaining bringing him in last year, they were reporting that he had amazingly stretched all the way to 34.........

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Old 08-06-2013   #3
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Default Re: Does Arm Length Affect OT Play?

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and neither correlation is even close to significant.
Yay statistics!


I think the most interesting this was how much more varied Right Tackles arm lengths are than left tackles.
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Old 08-06-2013   #4
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Default Re: Does Arm Length Affect OT Play?

A dude with T-Rex arms probably isn't going to make it as a tackle.

The most important stat for an OT is footwork. Joe Thomas, for instance, not really all that of a physical specimen when it comes to measurables, but the dude's footwork is impeccable.

Have great footwork with freakish skill (Orlando Pace) or size (Ogden) and you have a HOFer in the making.

I remember someone pointing out how having long arms will make your bench numbers at the combine look worse. Longer distance to move the weight, adding up with every rep.
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Old 08-06-2013   #5
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Default Re: Does Arm Length Affect OT Play?

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Originally Posted by The1ApplePie View Post
I remember someone pointing out how having long arms will make your bench numbers at the combine look worse. Longer distance to move the weight, adding up with every rep.
I can tell you that's true from personal experience. I have long arms and legs, and I've fought that all my life. Short stumpy guys can do more push-ups, bench press, etc. They aren't necessarily stronger, but in that particular context, don't go in against a stumpy guy.
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Old 08-06-2013   #6
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Default Re: Does Arm Length Affect OT Play?

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Originally Posted by The1ApplePie View Post
I remember someone pointing out how having long arms will make your bench numbers at the combine look worse. Longer distance to move the weight, adding up with every rep.
That was probably me. I think I've posted that on here before.

Guys with short arms are generally better benchers and bad deadlifters. Guys with long arms, just the opposite.

The shorter the distance you have to move the bar, the better.
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