“With the 51st pick in the 2016 NFL draft, the New York Jets select quarterback Christian Hackenberg, Penn State” – Former Jets quarterback Chad Pennington.
Another quarterback drafted by a franchise still searching for the right one to lead them to the Super Bowl. General manager Mike Maccagnan and coach Todd Bowles are now putting everything on the line for another project. Whether Jets fans like or don’t like the pick, Hackenberg is the future franchise quarterback of the Jets.
Hackenberg comes into the NFL at 6’4 234 pounds with tremendous upside. He has great arm strength, good size, can make all the throws and shows flashes of good pocket presence. He has three years of experience as a starter and know how to play in an NFL pro-style offense, more than what Bryce Petty has done in Baylor. Hackenberg even displays solid leadership qualities with his teammates. But there are some negatives from his career at Penn State.
He took a step back in his next two years after starting out well as a freshmen. Tends to be inaccurate with passes, can be rattled by the pass rush and sometimes holds the ball too long. Scouts predicted him to be arguably the number one quarterback coming out of the draft when he was a freshmen. But terrible coaching combined with playing in the spread offense made him regress.
The Jets know his upside for the franchise. He probably won’t play this season as a lot of development needs to be placed on his overall game. Jets fans will have to be patient with Hackenberg for the present and future. Check out Hackenberg in Jon Gruden’s QB camp on his mindset as a mentally tough player.