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Christian Hackenberg | Quarterback

Team: Penn State Nittany Lions
Ht / Wt:  6'4' / 212

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NFL Media analyst Chase Goodbread believes Penn State junior QB Christian Hackenberg needs to release the ball faster if he's going to fulfill his potential.
Said Goodbread, "There is a fine line between showing patience in the pocket waiting for receivers to come open, and showing no sense for the oncoming rush and the value of a throwaway." The writer cited former Alabama QB A.J. McCarron as an example of a quarterback who learned to get rid of the ball faster. Hackenberg has more talent than McCarron, but he threw 15 interceptions last season (to just 12 TD's) while completing only 55.8% of his passes. He'll need to make marked improvements if he's going to justify a high draft selection. Aug 12 - 3:14 PM

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NFL Media analyst Charles Davis sees Penn State junior QB Christian Hackenberg as a candidate to go No. 1 overall.

"I see (a) guy who could be everything, I see a guy who could be the No. 1 pick in the draft," Davis said. Former Detroit Lions president Matt Millen made similar comments about Hackenberg recently. "This is going to be his last year, too," Millen said last month. "I don't see him staying four years. He is really talented. ... He's a top-five pick." We need to see improved decision-making before we're willing to agree.
Aug 11 - 6:37 PM

ESPN's Kevin Van Valkenburg spoke with one NFL scout who thinks Penn State junior QB Christian Hackenberg is "easily a top-five pick."

Even Penn State fans would say Hackenberg's play last year does not warrant a top five selection. Luckily, the NFL gets another year to evaluate. Hackenberg has a lot of "tools" that are displayed when making difficult throws many quarterbacks could not complete. Then there are instances of poor understanding of pressure or inaccurate throws downfield. We'd be interested to hear the scout's reasoning for the top five projection.
Source: ESPN
Aug 6 - 10:21 AM

Penn State junior Christian Hackenberg finished with College Football Focus' lowest QB grade in the entire FBS last season.

You have seen many analysts say Hackenberg is the best quarterback in the country and has the talent to be the No. 1 pick, but does it matter if those tools are used to produce negative results? There were plenty of issues around Hackenberg last season, include poor offensive line play and possibly questionable coaching. However, Hackenberg's play did not compensate for those mistakes often enough. He had a major hand in his high sack totals. We are happy to see another season of game action, and these grades are opinion, but it is more than fair to have questions about Hackenberg's game.
Aug 5 - 1:23 PM

TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline grades Penn State junior QB Christian Hackenberg as merely a second-rounder.

"Many have stamped Christian Hackenberg as a franchise signal caller but I don’t see it," Pauline wrote. "While he offers top 15 physical skills his defensive reads, decisions making and often sporadic accuracy worry me." At present moment, we're with him. Many analysts rate Hackenberg as a surefire top-15 pick based on an assumption that he's going to realize his vast potential in 2015. We base our evaluations not on measurements, stats or what other writers think, but what we see on the field. And what we saw last season in Hackenberg was a prospect who doesn't handle pressure well and makes too many mistakes.
Aug 2 - 2:56 PM

Former Detroit Lions president Matt Millen predicted that Penn State junior QB Christian Hackenberg will apply for early entry into the NFL draft in 2016 and go in the top five.

"This is going to be his last year, too," Millen said. "I don't see him staying four years. He is really talented. ... He's a top-five pick." The 6-foot-4, 236-pound Hackenberg had a horrid 12/15 TD/INT ratio in 2014 and also fumbled nine times. Most experts blame those struggles on other factors, such as a new coaching staff and a terrible offensive line; Hackenberg was sacked an amazing 44 times. As we've said before, Hackenberg is out of excuses this fall. We reserve judgement until then.
Aug 2 - 12:58 PM

Sports on Earth's Matt Brown says Penn State junior QB Christian Hackenberg is a top-10 college football player on talent alone, but ranks him No. 76 because of his substandard 2014 performance.

"Hackenberg's accuracy, footwork and decision-making all left a lot to be desired last season, but it's hard to figure out how much unfavorable circumstances around him are to blame," Brown wrote. "The offensive line, ravaged by scholarship restrictions, severely limited the offense -- from the run game to pass protection to play-calling under a new coaching staff -- and Hackenberg seemed to get caught up in all those other issues, with frustration building during the season." The 6-foot-4, 236-pound Hackenberg regressed to an ugly 12/15 TD/INT ratio last year after a very promising freshman campaign. "He has a chance for a big turnaround, with his huge arm, a better line, more seasoned receivers and glimpses of brilliance we've seen from him, like in the first (454 yards vs. UCF) and last games (371 yards vs. Boston College) of last season," Brown wrote.
Jul 31 - 6:37 PM

Penn State junior QB Christian Hackenberg boasts a "prototypical frame that already has scouts drooling" and it "wouldn’t at all be surprising to see him sneak into the top five," writes ESPN's Travis Haney.

"With even a decent season, Hackenberg will be a sizzling-hot NFL prospect in the spring," he added. "Can Hackenberg get his TD-to-INT rate back in good form after it dipped to 12-15 last year? There were plenty of extenuating circumstances that led to such a high turnover rate -- a new coaching staff, an inexperienced line and receiver group -- but in the end, Hackenberg has to show this fall that he can be far more efficient." To the signal-caller's credit, he seems to understand that what happened in 2014 cannot happen again. "I’ve always been a guy to try and immerse myself in the process," Hackenberg said. "Right now, the task at hand is to be better than 7-6 (the team’s 2014 record) and win more football games and to do my part to win more games."
Jul 26 - 7:58 PM

WalterFootball reports that NFL sources are still confident Penn State junior QB Christian Hackenberg could end up "being an elite quarterback prospect."

In other words, a No. 1 overall pick. "James Franklin's offense didn't help him develop much as a NFL pocket-passer prospect last season as so many of the play calls were instant throws because of a weak offensive line that couldn't maintain its blocks," WF noted. "Hackenberg needs to improve his ball placement and decision-making in some areas, but his supporting cast really hurt him last year. At times, Hackenberg makes some brilliant throws downfield after working off his first read, and if he does that regularly as a junior, he could be a high first-rounder." The site ranks Hack as the No. 1 QB in the 2017 class, ahead of Cardale Jones and Jared Goff.
Jul 26 - 4:05 PM

Penn State junior QB Christian Hackenberg was named to the watch list for the Manning Award, which is awarded to the top quarterback in college football.

The Penn State prospect's name has already been added to watch lists for the Maxwell Award, Davey O’Brien Award and the Walter Camp Award this year. The 6-foot-4, 236-pound Hackenberg had an off season last year, as he regressed with a 12/15 TD/INT rate last season under HC James Franklin. However, the Penn State junior has started all 25 career games under center for the Nittany Lions throwing for 5,932 passing yards.
Jul 24 - 3:44 PM

NFL Media's Charles Davis writes that Penn State junior QB Christian Hackenberg "has plenty to clean up (footwork, decision making), but this might be the first year he's truly settled in at Penn State."

"I expect that to work well in his favor, and for him to bounce back, showing the college football world that he's one of the best QBs in the nation," Davis wrote. The 6-foot-4, 236-pounder threw for 2,995 yards and 20 touchdowns as a freshman but struggled mightily in posting a 12/15 TD/INT rate last season. We soured on Hackenberg a bit after watching the sophomore consistently dismiss logic while pressured, but we concede the book is far from closed on him as a prospect. Hackenberg, of course, was learning a new offensive system and played behind a dreadful offensive line. If he struggles this year, he will do so with the excuses having run out. "Hackenberg oozes with possibilities in the college game and beyond," Davis wrote.
Jul 22 - 7:33 PM

"Improved consistency is exactly what NFL scouts are looking for" from Penn State junior QB Christian Hackenberg in 2015, CBS Sports Dane Brugler notes.

"Despite all of his shortcomings on film, Hackenberg should be improved in year two with an improved offensive line, chemistry with his targets and comfort with the coaching staff. And with his physical gifts that suggest he could be the first quarterback drafted next spring, improved consistency is exactly what NFL scouts are looking for from the talented passer in 2015, Brugler wrote. Unfortunately, the 6-foot-4, 236-pound Hackenberg had an off season, as he regressed in 2014 with a 12/15 TD/INT rate last season under HC James Franklin. However, Hackenberg has a chance to keep his draft stock intact, if he lets his natural talent shine through in 2015.
Source: CBS Sports
Jul 15 - 2:08 PM

Penn State junior QB Christian Hackenberg is the most overrated quarterback prospect in the nation, in the estimation of With the First Pick's Jon Dove.

"Hackenberg has everything you look for in a quarterback—he has great size, a strong throwing arm, solid athleticism and appears to be a student of the game," Dove wrote. "His leadership ability has already been on display at Penn State which is an important part of a quarterback’s value. However, Hackenberg has also had problems holding up under presser [sic]." Indeed, the 6-foot-4, 236-pounder threw for 2,995 yards and 20 touchdowns as a true freshman but regressed to a 12/15 TD/INT rate last season. "He has a tendency to hold the ball too long, drop his eyes into the pass rush and force the ball into coverage," Dove wrote. "The ability to handle pressure at the next level is key. NFL defensive coordinators know how to rattle a quarterback who reacts poorly to pressure." We agree with this take and hope Hackenberg improves with better offensive line play. We'll reserve judgement until we see that on the field.
Jul 12 - 8:04 PM

Penn State junior QB Christian Hackenberg is "still coveted as the possible No. 1 overall pick in the draft, despite last season's frustrations," writes Sports on Earth's Matt Brown.

"After a stellar freshman season under Bill O'Brien, Hackenberg faced a 2014 sophomore season with: 1) a new coaching staff; 2) perilous offensive line depth due to NCAA sanctions and the preseason loss of senior guard Miles Dieffenbach; and 3) a receiving corps filled with unproven underclassmen," Brown wrote. "Hackenberg had his own issues, with sloppy footwork, inconsistent accuracy and problems holding onto the ball too long, but frustrations built over the course of the season as the offensive line struggled to create a pocket and struggled to open holes for the running game, while receivers were inconsistent in getting separation." The scribe pegs Hackenberg as the No. 8 quarterback in the country. "When Hackenberg is protected, he can be brilliant, and we mostly recently saw him throw for 371 yards and four touchdowns in the Pinstripe Bowl," Brown wrote. "With a favorable 2015 schedule, Hackenberg has a chance to rebound in a big way."
Jul 7 - 11:34 PM

NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah tweeted the positive and negative parts of Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg's current evaluation.

Obviously we have all seen the highlights of Hackenberg's career, many taking place during his freshman season. As Jeremiah puts it, Hack can make "special throws" due to a combination of placement and downfield ability. The negatives? The Penn State quarterback "needs to improve his decision making and touch." We can all agree 2014 was not a good season for Hackenberg, but thankfully another season of tape will be available for his evaluation. Was it the offensive lines fault? Coaching? Or did Hack compound the problem? Hopefully answers are created in 2015.
Jun 30 - 9:24 AM