Home > News > Sports > NFL > 2016 NFL Draft: Christian Hackenberg selected 51st overall by New York Jets

2016 NFL Draft: Christian Hackenberg selected 51st overall by New York Jets

Christian Hackenberg - QB, Penn StatePick Analysis


Christian Hackenberg – QB, Penn State

Pick Analysis

They say if you have two quarterbacks, you don’t have a quarterback. The Jets now have three quarterbacks, and possibly four quarterbacks, so again, they have no quarterback. There’s two “P”s that come into play with prospects – production and potential. Well, Hackenberg has plenty of the latter, but not nearly enough of the former. Hackenberg will need to sit for a while and develop, but behind who? Geno Smith? Bryce Petty? If you’re going to play either of those two, you may as well start Hackenberg from Day 1. So, the other option is to re-sign Ryan Fitzpatrick – mentoring young QBs is something he’s done enough times before – but drafting Hackenberg this this early essentially forces the Jets to stick wtih him for at least a few years, gambling their short-to-medium-term future that he’ll be able to turn that potential into production. If he can’t, then this pick sets the team back for years.Gur Samuel

Player Analysis

After a highly promising freshman season, the last two years couldn’t have been much worse for Hackenberg in terms of on-field play.  He was far from perfect, but certainly showed a lot of ability that first year under Bill O’Brien, however his play has only regressed since.  There’s no doubt that there’s validity to him not fitting well within new head coach James Franklin’s offense, and that his offensive line has been very poor at times over the past two seasons.  That doesn’t excuse him much though.  Despite the bad protection, many of the sacks are on Hackenberg for his indecisiveness to pull the trigger, holding on to the ball for far too long, often even when there is an open target that he’s just failed to spot.  Even in a clean pocket the ball placement is all over the place.  The number of grossly over and under thrown passes are littered across practically every game film.  There are times when he looks completely unnatural and awkward in the pocket, that is only exaggerated further when faced with the blitz.  Some of the decision making is baffling too that leads to strongly questioning whether he truly understands what he is seeing out there on the field and how defences are setting up.  One particular play stands out, from what was a low point performance all round versus Michigan State this year.  The Spartans corner clearly playing off-man, proceeds to maintain position and distance inside and over the top on the receiver, and should never have been thrown at by Hackenberg.  Once he did make that poor decision, he compounded the error with awful placement.  He at least should have targeted the outside shoulder of his receiver, but missed inside for the simplest of interceptions.  To look at some positives, there was reason for the early encouragement back in 2013, that maybe under the right coaching and in the right system, he can re-discover that early promise.  He has the size and a strong arm that is looked for.  His toughness is certainly there, playing through some knocks that he’s taken without complaint or missing snaps.  He’ll get his chance, but it’s difficult to see a franchise QB in Hackenberg right now, with some serious doubts about his feel for the game. (Rebecca Rennie)

Grade D


2016 NFL Draft: Christian Hackenberg selected 51st overall by New York Jets

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