A former power recruit out of high school, Christian Hackenberg never lived up to expectations and seemingly wasted his college career at Penn State. Between scheme changes and lackluster supporting casts, his career was never given the ignition to take off like many had planned for the young QB. After his junior season, he decided to enter the NFL Draft and leave the abyss where his chances as an NFL Draft pick sank more and more each season. Still, Hackenberg is in line to be a 2nd day-early 3rd day pick based on his upside. Teams will love the arm strength and prototypical size. Will he be able to transform in the NFL and prove his lack of production was a product of a poor situation?
Name: Christian Hackenberg
College: Penn State
Projection: 3rd Round
Comparison: Todd Collins
Strengths: Ideal NFL size and frame. Very strong arm with zip. Solid athletic ability for his size to move in the pocket and pick up small chunks of yardage. Over-the-top throwing motion with a quick release. Worked in shotgun and under center. Comfortable in the pocket scanning the field. Intelligent. Mature. Handled an intense and disappointing college career with very high expectations exceptionally well for his age. Will only be a 21-year-old rookie.
Weaknesses: Not a smooth or creative foot athlete. Not a naturally accurate player. Appears to get into funks where he misses low, high, and behind. Has extreme difficulty hitting a moving target on the deep ball. Lacks pocket awareness and takes unnecessary sacks. Does not move well in the pocket and will stand flat-footed making the defenses job easier. Does not read the field and react quick enough leaving plays on the field. Made a bad situation worse than it had to be and did not show season to season progress you hope for.
Overview: Hackenberg has the physical tools and mental make-up you look for but simply lacks the ability to put the ball where it needs to go. His youth and the instability he dealt with will lead some to believe he can be fixed but I believe he is a third day draft pick, but he will go earlier based on untapped potential.