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Christian Hackenberg | Quarterback

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

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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
Source: NFL.com

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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 Scout.com'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.
Source: Scout.com
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."
Source: ESPN.com
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

Penn State sophomore QB Christian Hackenberg completed 8 of 16 attempts for 93 yards and a touchdown in the school's 16-14 loss to Illinois.

Do we have to repeat ourselves? We have read some blaming the offensive line for Hackenberg's poor play this season while citing sack totals. That is not fair to the offensive line, as Hackenberg is the reason for so many of the sacks. It might not be a situation that many could succeed in, but right now Hackenberg is not one of them.
Sat, Nov 22, 2014 04:52:00 PM

Penn State sophomore QB Christian Hackenberg continued his downward trend, completing 12 of 26 attempts for 112 yards and two interceptions in the school's 30-13 win over Temple.

Hackenberg's first interception occurred on a deflection after throwing behind his receiver. The second was even worse after throwing off his back foot after holding the ball too long. Some will continue to blame the offensive line, but Hackenberg has not been good when isolating his performances. In fact, the two sacks in the second quarter are squarely on his shoulders. Maybe Hackenberg is not really regressing, perhaps we are just getting the real picture on his evaluation. Next season will be telling.
Sat, Nov 15, 2014 03:41:00 PM

Penn State sophomore QB Christian Hackenberg completed 12 of 29 attempts for 168 yards and two interceptions in the school's 13-7 win over Indiana.

We say the same thing every week, so we will spare you from the Hackenberg criticism and the criticism for those that put unrealistic expectations on him. That is not to say Hackenberg can't be good, because he can, he just has not sustained it this season.
Sat, Nov 8, 2014 04:14:00 PM

Penn State sophomore QB Christian Hackenberg completed 18 of 42 attempts for 177 yards, one touchdown and one interception in the school's 20-19 loss to Maryland.

Many have discussed Hackenberg's drop off in play this season compared to 2013. Is it the offensive line's fault? Is it because Bill O'Brien jumped to the NFL? Maybe the lack of Allen Robinson? We think these play a part, but Hackenberg does too. For example, perhaps O'Brien was very good at masking Hackenberg's flaws, which is what good coaches do. But if that is the case, many jumped the gun in declaring Hackenberg a future No. 1 pick. This is all part of his development, and we will withhold evaluating his NFL potential until this summer.
Sat, Nov 1, 2014 04:19:00 PM

Penn State sophomore QB Christian Hackenberg completed 31-of-49 attempts for 224 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions in Saturday's 31-24 double-overtime loss to Ohio State.

Hackenberg won't get much national credit for it, but he's been downright heroic in standing tough in the pocket behind one of the nation's worst offensive lines this year. Defensive coordinators, looking to take advantage and not keen on allowing Hackenberg to beat them, send waves of pressure. If Hackenberg can get through this season with his body and confidence in one piece, there are going to be plenty of teams praying he opts into the draft after next season.
Sun, Oct 26, 2014 10:10:00 PM