Figured to be a top pick in this year's NFL Draft, former Cal quarterback Jared Goff knows he'll need to keep learning as he transitions to the pros.
One of the biggest criticisms that former Cal quarterback Jared Goff learned to face throughout the NFL Draft process was one he found quite comical. His hand size, which measured at nine inches, sounded some alarms for teams that take those kinds of measurements seriously.
Usually, a good hand size for a quarterback is 9 ½ inches minimum, with 10 or more inches the ideal. It was the first time Goff had heard he had small hands, a factor that many equate to poor ball security.
"I've played football my whole life and never had any problem with that" Goff said at the NFL Combine. "I've been told I have pretty big hands my whole life. I heard I have small hands yesterday apparently. Naw, I've never had a problem with that or expect it to be a problem at all."
Goff has experienced adversity before, notably this past season when he threw five interceptions in the Bears' loss to Utah. It put a dent into his potential Heisman Trophy hopes. Cal continued to struggle but finished the season winning three of their last four games, including a victory in the Armed Forces Bowl.
"That game went about as bad as it can go," Goff said, referring to his performance against Utah. "I kind of use it as an opportunity to show that I can bounce back and I can have a little bit of resiliency to myself and to my teammates. To just everyone surrounding the program, kind of wanted to show that…was able to finish out the season pretty well, which I was happy about."
Goff stands at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds and earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors in his junior season, starting every game and setting conference records with 4,719 passing yards and 43 touchdowns on the year. He decided to leave school early and has been pitted with North Dakota State's Carson Wentz as the top quarterbacks in this year's draft.
"It's just like anything else, when we go out there and we throw together by no means is it cutthroat, but we're competitive with each other and just trying to do our best every day," Goff said of his time training with Wentz.
Check out images of quarterback Jared Goff during his collegiate career at Cal.
Scouts like Goff's throwing ability and one of his biggest strengths is his accuracy, something the quarterback said he believes is also his best attribute in the pocket. The worry, at least to most NFL staffs however, comes more in the style of offense he played in at Cal.
According to his NFL.com draft profile, Goff spent 99.8 percent of his pass snaps from the pistol formation or in the shotgun. The transition to the NFL and the pro style that accompanies it will force him to learn new footwork from under center, settling down from an up-tempo offense and not rushing passes.
"There's obviously going to be a transition and I think it happens, but there's a transition with every quarterback coming from college to the NFL," Goff said. "I'm excited for it, honestly. I think I did a lot of stuff in college that does translate well and again there's a lot of stuff I need to improve on. Again, I'm excited for that and excited to make the adjustments and that transition."
When pressed further about some of the things that will translate, Goff mentioned that a lot of third down passing situations in the NFL are taken from the shotgun already, but did admit that he's been training under center for the last couple of months, trying to regain some comfortability.
Which is to say Goff knows that the learning process doesn't stop after college. As the days get closer to hearing his name called, likely somewhere in the first round, Goff knows just by watching some of the best in the game that the work is only just beginning.
"I think just repetition every day and just kind of getting that consistency. That's something that the great ones do, just never get complacent, always try to get better," Goff said. "You see the guys that are the best, guys like [Tom] Brady and [Aaron] Rodgers and Peyton [Manning] always working and always trying to get better, always trying to improve their game. I think that's what you can separate yourself and make you more consistent."