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Christian Hackenberg | Quarterback

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

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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

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ESPN's Mel Kiper ranked Penn State junior Christian Hackenberg as the No. 2 underclassmen quarterback in the land.

"The pedigree and talent outpace the numbers, which is a good thing because 2014 was a forgettable year for Hackenberg, who had a negative TD-INT ratio and was on his back far too often behind a suspect O-line," Kiper wrote. "A coaching transition was also a clear setback for his development. This will be a big year as Hackenberg will be out to prove 2014 was a confluence of problems he couldn't control." We are in wait-and-see mode with Hackenberg. Some are willing to pawn off his struggles last season on a confluence of factors that Kiper touched on, but we'd prefer he prove it now that there's no excuses left. The 6-foot-4, 236-pounder posted an ugly 12/15 TD/INT rate last season.
Jun 23 - 10:30 PM

Penn State junior QB Christian Hackenberg's "accuracy was absolutely rotten last season and he missed too many opportunities," writes NFL Media's Lance Zierlein.

Despite that, Zierlein ranks him as the nation's No. 7 QB based on his size, arm talent and potential. "His footwork and weight transfer are sloppy and he is below average at recognizing what defenses are doing pre-snap," he wrote. "However, that arm strength is a thing of beauty and he showed outstanding promise in 2013. With eight starters back on offense, Hackenberg has a good shot at a big, bounce-back season." 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.
Jun 23 - 12:05 AM

Penn State has "a chance to be favored in as many as nine or 10 games this season" and "will be a much better team in [James] Franklin's second season," according to ESPN correspondent Phil Steele.

"Last season, Penn State had a poor offensive line and was in the first season of the James Franklin era with just 12 returning starters," Steele wrote. "This season, the Nittany Lions have 15 returning starters and I think Christian Hackenberg will look like the probable high first-round pick he should be in the 2016 NFL draft." The Nittany Lions currently hold minus-160 odds at 7.5 wins. Steele strongly suggests taking the over.
Jun 9 - 12:09 AM

Only seven offensive lines allowed more frequent sacks on passing downs than Penn State during the 2014 season, according to SB Nation's Bill Connelly.

"Only three teams allowed more run stuffs in the backfield," Connelly writes. In many ways, the school's offense was miserable last year. It starts with the offensive line (with a second round pick at left tackle), but other players failed to elevate the talent. Plenty of players who saw significant action return, but experience does not always equal improved talent.
Source: SB Nation
Jun 2 - 1:39 PM

Penn State junior QB Christian Hackenberg "will have to put the sophomore slump behind him" in 2015, observes NFL Media.

The 6-foot-4, 236-pounder threw for 2,995 yards and 20 touchdowns as a true freshman for then-Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien in 2013, but regressed to a 12/15 TD/INT rate last season under James Franklin. New systems can lead to significant growing pains; in the case of Hackenberg, it also led to excuses for his play. To be fair, as NFL Media put it, Hackenberg was playing "with a rag-tag offensive line and a number of young receivers." The headaches are gone, the growing pains have been accounted for, and the excuses will lose validity if corrections aren't made in 2015. Specifically, Hackenberg needs to handle pressure more effectively in the pocket.
May 21 - 7:34 PM

Big Ten Network's Sean Merriman ranks Penn State junior QB Christian Hackenberg as the conference's No. 2 pro prospect.

Behind Joey Bosa of Ohio State, of course, which also means the analyst ranks Hackenberg above such stud signal-callers as Connor Cook and Cardale Jones. "He has the size, arm strength and skill-set of an All-Pro NFL quarterback," wrote Merriman. "The key will be if he can stay on his feet and remain healthy in 2015." The 6-foot-4, 236-pounder had a 12/15 TD/INT rate last season and must prove to the NFL that he can handle pass rusher pressure.
May 17 - 7:23 PM

Penn State junior QB Christian Hackenberg "can make all the throws" and "plays with a sense of calmness and poise," wrote's Jamie Newberg.

The analyst ranks him as the No. 15 prospect in the nation. "He's a pocket passer all the way but has shown the ability to throw on the run," Newberg wrote. "Hackenberg had a bumpy 2014 season, caused in part by a poor Nittany Lion offensive front. He needs to clean things up and work on ball security. There's no doubt a big '15 campaign will make him very coveted by the NFL." The 6-foot-4, 236-pounder threw for 2,995 yards and 20 touchdowns as a true freshman in 2013, but regressed to a 12/15 TD/INT rate last season.
May 17 - 4:26 PM

Penn State junior QB Christian Hackenberg checks in at No. 11 on Mel Kiper's inaugural 2016 Big Board.

"After a freshman season that showed tons of promise and also matched the considerable hype, Hackenberg struggled mightily as a true sophomore behind a bad offensive line -- and through what could not have been an easy coaching transition, as outgoing coach Bill O'Brien has a superb reputation among quarterbacks," Kiper wrote. "There is no question 2015 will be a scrutinized season for a kid with obvious NFL tools." This is an aggressive ranking -- though not quite as aggressive as Todd McShay slotting Hackenberg No. 1 in a 2016 mock draft -- and Kiper explains his rational well. We soured on Hackenberg a bit last year after watching him consistently get flummoxed by pressure, but he's a big-time prospect with an ideal frame. We'll be watching him as closely as anyone in 2016. If he struggles mightily again, there will be no excuses left.
May 15 - 8:52 PM

Penn State junior QB Christian Hackenberg went No. 1 to the Redskins in Todd McShay's 2016 mock draft.

Well, that's optimistic. "Hackenberg struggled in 2014 with a 12-touchdown, 15-interception season, but he's a big-time talent with a pro-style skill set," McShay explained. Fair enough. An AFC scout told ESPN this week that Hackenberg is better than Ohio State's Cardale Jones or Michigan State's Connor Cook. He wasn't last year, but the talent is obviously there. The 6-foot-4, 236-pounder simply must learn to handle pressure better.
May 8 - 10:10 PM

An AFC scout said Penn State junior QB Christian Hackenberg is better than Ohio State's Cardale Jones or Michigan State's Connor Cook.

We were unimpressed by Hackenberg's work last year, but he has at least one more year to convert us (it appears the NFL wasn't concerned). The 6-foot-4, 236-pounder threw for 2,995 yards and 20 touchdowns as a true freshman in 2013, but regressed to a 12/15 TD/INT rate last season. "When you evaluate quarterbacks, you can't just look at it like one guy is better than another," said an AFC quarterbacks coach. "You have to factor personalities into it. You have to ask yourself if a kid has a great football IQ. Does he swing first in a fight? Is he really mentally tough? Once you get past the arm strength and the size and all the measurable stuff, that's when the conversation really starts about these guys."
May 8 - 8:27 PM

Penn State sophomore QB Christian Hackenberg set school records for completions and yards passing by completing 34-of-50 attempts for 371 yards in Saturday's 31-30 overtime Pinstripe Bowl win versus Boston College.

Hackenberg also threw for four touchdowns, tying a school record, in earning MVP honors. The firework show and record writing began early, as Hackenberg tied another program record -- this one for longest scoring pass -- with a 72-yard TD strike to Chris Godwin down the right hash with 5:22 remaining in the first quarter. Hackenberg struggled throughout the season, clearly regressing from his true freshman season, but he'll head into the winter coming off arguably his most impressive collegiate performance. In this game, he displayed all the tools scouts have pointed to in calling him a potential top-five overall talent, including a howitzer arm to push the ball downfield, the velocity to fit the ball into tight windows, toughness in the pocket, accuracy, and an underrated ability to evade pressure. Penn State's maligned offensive line played a little better in this game, and there is hope that the unit will be far better in 2015.
Sun, Dec 28, 2014 03:14:00 PM

Penn State sophomore QB Christian Hackenberg didn't make Scout Inc.'s list of the most intriguing non-draft eligible prospects.

Ouch. "Hackenberg made our list last year, and is blessed with excellent physical tools. While he admittedly did not get much help from a struggling offensive line, his mechanics and decision-making skills took a significant dip this year, and he ended the regular season with 15 interceptions and just eight touchdown passes," wrote Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl. We second this assessment. While he has first-round talent, Hackenberg simply didn't play up to his ability this season.
Fri, Dec 19, 2014 11:13:00 PM

Penn State sophomore QB Christian Hackenberg completed 21 of 45 attempts for 195 yards and one interception in the school's 34-10 loss to Michigan State.

There are many excuses: play calling, offensive line, lack of weapons, etc. If you only point to those and do not recognize Hackenberg's poor play as well, than you are not being honest. He is in a poor situation, but Hackenberg is not elevating it. We repeat ourselves every week, but the expectations placed on Hackenberg this offseason were unfair.
Sat, Nov 29, 2014 07:03:00 PM

Penn State sophomore QB Christian Hackenberg's father declined to discuss a rumor that his son might want to transfer.

"I won't even touch that," Erick Hackenberg said. " ... I don't really have a comment on that at all. I think that's a lot of conjecture. ... It's the outside, looking in. Out of respect to Coach (James) Franklin and the team, out of respect to Christian and everybody else, that's not fair to a lot of people, so I'm not going to touch that. That's something that doesn't even need to be talked about at this point. He loves being at Penn State." Hackenberg is suffering through a rough season, and he's undoubtedly stuck in a rotten situation, with a poor running game and a worse offensive line, but transferring would be a gigantic mistake. He's a respected prospect who could easily rehabilitate his stock next season and bolt immediately thereafter.
Tue, Nov 25, 2014 06:11:00 PM