Christian Hackenberg, QB, Penn State – 2016

Jets, Round 2. He was a junior who declared early for the 2016 NFL Draft.

Postseason Events: NFL Combine.

Positives: Though he was only a junior, he had nearly 40 games worth of experience running a prostyle offense in college, so he should be more ready to handle an NFL offense. He has great height and good bulk for the position – definitely looks the part. He throws with above-average accuracy when he is on the move. He throws with enough arm strength and has nice touch on deep throws. Stands in under pressure. He is able to go through his progressions if given enough time. Adequate track speed and quickness off the line for the position, but above-average for his size. Adequate vertical leap and lower-body explosiveness in Combine drills. Above-average ability to change directions with burst in Combine drills. Willing to run and slide.

Negatives: Below-average hand size. Inconsistent deep accuracy. Generally poor accuracy at all levels – on short and medium passes, timing routes, rolling to the right, and on fade routes. Even at the Combine, he was making his wide receivers work. Below-average velocity. Below-average accuracy in clutch situations. Consistently misses connecting on receivers’ out patterns. Seems to lock onto receivers and miss other opportunities. Consistently throws off of his back foot under minor pressure. Despite his athleticism, he doesn’t move around very well in the pocket under pressure. Will throw it into double coverage. Passes tend to be low when he steps into throws and tries to add velocity. Generally eyeballs his receivers. Consistently throws screen passes too hard. Late to pull the trigger on third downs and misses opportunities with open receivers. Needs to keep his eyes downfield on the move. Reportedly had a few disappointing interviews after the season.

Pre-Draft Projection: Round 4. I would view him as more of a 6th-round quarterback. He has had flashes of talent at the college level, but has been very inconsistent. His size, athleticism, and arm talent will get him on a roster come September, but he has a lot of work to do on accuracy, decision-making and mechanics before he can handle the NFL.

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