What a sad, sad day for me to realize that my take a couple of years ago of Christian Hackenberg being the savior of the New York Jets was the worst take I have ever made. I have came to grips with it, if thats even the correct saying. When the Penn State scandal happened, the entire team was in turmoil. Bill O’Brien had just become head coach after Tom Bradley finished the season as the interim coach after Joe Paterno was fired. O’Brien did wonders with Matt McGloin in his one year, but now he was getting the crown jewel of the high school football world. Many thought Christian Hackenberg was going to de-commit from Penn State because of all of the sanctions on the football program.
Hackenberg looked like a star in his freshmen year, completing 58 percent of his passes and throwing for 20 touchdowns with 10 interceptions. Things kept looking good until Bill O’Brien left before his junior year to take the job for the Houston Texans. Remember, O’Brien was a great quarterback coach. He was the offensive coordinator for Tom Brady when Josh McDaniels wasn’t with New England. A lot of NFL scouts wondered, was Hackenberg really that talented or was O’Brien just making him look good?
When James Franklin was the head coach in his final season at Penn State, he changed the entire offensive scheme and Hackenberg’s numbers got worse, other than having less interceptions. Fast forward to the NFL draft. I was a big fan of Hackenberg, and when the Jets drafted him I was ecstatic. I thought he had a real chance to beat out Ryan Fitzpatrick and Bryce Petty at the time. When training camp started, rumors swirled that the man couldn’t throw a spiral, which was shocking to me. In his rookie season I don’t think Hackenberg even dressed for a game and was never a part of the active roster. Oh wait, he was for one game because Petty was injured. How is this man such a bust? He had a golden arm and looked to be a future stud.
Things get even sadder as Hackenberg was traded to the Oakland or Las Vegas Raiders, whatever you want to call them. I thought maybe he could have a chance being Derek Carr’s backup, but not even that was possible. He was cut by the team, not even making it to the preseason. I am usually not shocked too much when some quarterbacks are busts, guys like Christian Ponder and E.J. Manuel didn’t shock me one bit. Johnny Manziel had the off the field issues, but Hackenberg never had any of those issues besides being the life of the party I bet at Penn State.
Christian had all the intangibles scouts look for. He has the height, the arm, and the vision, but when the accuracy is not there it’s hard to fix. This is why a lot of fans think Josh Allen will be the next big time bust, similar to Jamarcus Russell. I’m sure Hackenberg will find himself on another roster soon because he does still have the potential being young. I have to admit though, I feel like a complete idiot thinking he would be the savior of the Jets. Here’s hoping Sam Darnold will be that instead.