Dec 27, 2014; Bronx, NY, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Christian Hackenberg (14) calls a play at the line against the Boston College Eagles during the first quarter in the 2014 Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Christian Hackenberg, who is 6-foot-4 and 234 pounds, has all the requisite skills an NFL team wants: size, cannon arm, pocket presence and excellent field vision.
“I’ve seen him play every single game, I’ve seen his practice habits, seen him in the meeting rooms, I’ve seen the way he’s worked with Bill O’Brien, and he’s the real deal.” – Mark Whipple, Massachusetts coach
One drawback is that the coaching staff at Penn State has done him no favors as far as developing him as a pro quarterback, as most of the passing plays the offense runs are short, quick throws. The reason for that, however, is because the Nittany Lions’ offensive line has been horrible, as he was sacked 44 times last season.
In addition, Hackenberg threw 15 interceptions, which certainly affects his draft status. Still, he did throw for 2,677 yards and 12 touchdowns and, given a strong line, he could be a stellar option at quarterback for the right NFL team.
His likelihood of wearing the Orange and Brown? Again, based on the round he is likely to be drafted, it is unlikely, although this is the type of player that could have an Aaron Rogers-type of tumble down the draft boards come the 2016 NFL Draft.
Next: Cardale Jones, Ohio State