With Christian Hackenberg, the New York Jets' Quarterback Misery Continues
Take a look at any scouting report on Christian Hackenberg, and they’ll all essentially describe him the same way:
- Prototypical size (6-foot-4, 223 pounds)
- Tough and durable
- Experience in pro-style offense
- Arm talent to make all the throws
- Pocket awareness
You’ll notice that all of his strengths are either of the aesthetic or intangible variety. And his weaknesses aren't.
The NFL is infatuated with quarterbacks who look a certain way -- hence the “prototypical” adjective being used everywhere to describe Hackenberg’s size -- and possess traits that aren’t necessarily indicative of future NFL success.
His weaknesses, however, are actual skills required to play the quarterback position in the NFL. Hackenberg has the "arm talent" (read: arm strength) to make all of the throws, but he’s wildly inconsistent and even shorter, simpler throws can be a challenge.
Maneuvering the pocket is an essential tool for a quarterback, yet countless scouts have described Hackenberg as having zero pocket awareness. He took 82 sacks over his final two collegiate seasons.
Front offices will point to Hackenberg’s experience with a pro-style offense as a reason to draft him as a potential franchise quarterback.
If you run a pro-style offense by taking countless sacks and making maddeningly inconsistent plays, though, is that really a positive?
Hackenberg’s 2015 season couldn’t even be described as average by NCAA standards. Last year, he posted a Total Expected Points Added of just 8.7, good for 101st in the nation.
He only fared slightly better in the QBR department, ranking 84th with a score of 51.9.
From a measurables standpoint, using MockDraftable.com, check out the list of comparables for Hackenberg:
- Collin Klein (2013)
- Zac Dysert (2013)
- Ryan Tannehill (2012)
- Jason Fife (2004)
- Jay Cutler (2006)
- Colby Cameron (2013)
- Jimmy Clausen (2010)
- David Rivers (2001)
- Aaron Corp (2012)
- Jason Campbell (2005)
If you’re a Jets fan, you’re hoping his best case scenario is Ryan Tannehill or Jay Cutler. I’ll let you decide if that’s a good thing.
His Fit with the New York Jets
With the selection of Christian Hackenberg, the Jets have now used two second round picks and a fourth round pick over the past four seasons on a quarterback.
If you're a Hackenberg believer, this is an ideal landing spot. With two outstanding receivers in Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker to help erase any accuracy issues and no legitimate competition at the position, this situation is perfect for Hackenberg to produce from day one.
However, it all comes back to the whole skill-set thing. Hackenberg lacks the general quarterbacking ability to become even a league average starter.
It's likely that we'll be writing about the Jets drafting another quarterback within the next two years.