FALLING: Christian Hackenberg – QB – Penn State
When Houston Texans’ head coach Bill O’Brien was the head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions, he had a freshman phenom at quarterback named Christian Hackenberg. The young QB threw for almost 3,000 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Since then Hackenberg’s seasons have gotten worse and worse again. Leaving as a junior was perhaps the only way to enter the NFL with any kind of clout or hype behind him, as many blamed a weakened team for the struggles more than on the quarterback himself.
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However, at the combine, there are no more excuses. Playing against ghosts, and wearing gym shorts instead of pads and cleats, the situation can’t get much more sterile. What Hackenberg did in the opportunity was miss targets, sail passes, and simply struggled through just about every phase of the day.
While Big Ten quarterbacks didn’t exactly shine on Day 2 of the combine, Hackenberg suffered the most. His lack of accuracy was hard to watch at times, and will make teams pause when they look at drafting the 21-year old.
Now, to be fair, i’ts possible Hackenberg was thrown off by the format, and having to show game skills in a non-game environment under such scrutiny. If this is the case, then he needs to have a rebound at the Penn State pro day to display it. He’ll get his shot, but even his old head coach in State College, PA has to be wondering if the junior is too damaged to succeed in the NFL.
Next: CB - William Jackson III