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How much does size matter?
April 7 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
In scouting football players, be it from the collegiate or pro levels, one of the biggest factors analyzed is a players size. Do they measure up to the prototypical player at their position. It's been a persuasive factor in the past, as has 'forty-times', arm strengths, and physical strength. Of course, it can't be questioned that a player who has the measurable will have a leg up on the opposition - but how big an advantage is it really.

It's easy to point to players even former 49ers like Jim Drukenmiller, Reggie McGrew or Gabe Wilkins who all had the measurable, but really aren't or weren't cutting it at as pro players. Obviously I can point at other - say Julian Peterson, and Ahmed Plummer or Kevan Barlow who have started to succeed and seem to be well proportioned when contrasted to other's at their positions. So clearly this seems to be a crap shoot. Size matters sure, but it's not the only factor - in fact it's barely a remote factor.

Looking at Joe Montana, Steve Young, Jeff Garcia, Jr Bryant, Jason Webster, Charlie Garner even Jerry Rice for that matter - these players didn't have the measurables that others at their position did, yet they perform(ed) at or above the level of players with better measurables. Undeniably there are the Marc McMillan's of the league too, but they are given much fewer opportunities in the league than those with the measurables.

Teams, and the 49ers are no exception here, are much more willing to have a player with the tangibles not perform on their team than a 'lesser' sized player perform poorly. Is it a matter of discrimination - in these politically correct times maybe - but lets face it, teams should smartten up and realize how little size matters when we are talking inches. Size is important no doubt, but certainly there have been enough players in the upper echelon of the NFL to recognize that there's a lot more to a NFL player that measured size, strength or speed.

Talk about it in the 49ers Paradise Forum

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