Christian Hackenberg better than what he’s showing


Sep 19, 2015; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Christian Hackenberg (14) throws a pass in the first quarter against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Most draft experts have Penn State junior quarterback Christian Hackenberg going on the 1-2 borderline in the 2016 draft. Many, including myself didn’t know what to make of him because of his college production, or lack there of. But according to ESPN analyst and former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer, he’s a top-5 pick.

He’s even gone as far as comparing the 6’4″, 235 pound Hackenberg to 3-time Super Bowl winner Troy Aikman. Aikman was a career 63.3 percent passer in college, 64.4 in his senior year. Hackenberg is 56.7 for his career and 52.8 so far in his career and they say if you can’t complete over 60 percent in college, you’re not accurate enough for the NFL.

But he does have excellent size and the cannon for an arm that all the NFL personnel people covet. But Dilfer blames the situation Hackenberg is in at Penn State with their offense for that. He was very critical of the Penn State offense, believing it has held Hackenberg back.

He said on ESPN, “Christian Hackenberg, once he gets out of that situation, which is not a good situation at Penn State, scouts and GMs and coaches will drool over Christian Hackenberg, He’s very, very similar to Troy Aikman. They’re the same type of body, thrower, personality, competitors. You go back and look at Troy Aikman coming out and look at Christian Hackenberg, they’re very similar. I think it’s going to be Hackenberg and [Cal jr. Jared] Goff. They will both go in the top five. There’s a bunch of guys that will get talked about, but they’re really the two that have franchise-quarterback potential.”

The bad situation Dilfer referring to is the lack of pass-protection he’s had since he’s been at Penn State. I trust my ex-teammate at Fresno State but I had to do some digging to make sure this wasn’t bias from Dilfer having Hackenberg at the Elite-11 quarterback camp. One thing that can’t be denied is Hackenberg was sacked an NCAA-high 44 times last year and 12 so far this year.

But through watching some tape and digging, Hackenberge can hold on to the ball at times. But that’s one of the things you can coach out of a kid and he does have everything you want in a franchise quarterback. If you think about it, he would be favorite to win Heismann Trophy if he were at a place like USC.

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