Watching the Tape Christian Hackenberg
a blog by La Kifo
Hack was a huge deal coming out of High School, ranked the #1 QB in his graduating class.
There are a lot of problems I can see him in this kids game. He lacks consistency, lacks accuracy, lacks deep accuracy, makes poor decisions under pressure, foot work mechanics are off, throwing motion is decent but not consistent, footwork impedes ability to be accurate deep down the field, Predetermines throws before the snap, not good at reading the blitz, lacks escapability. I watched maybe 5 games of tape on him and I dont know how many live games I watched him play but lets say another five and make it an even 10. It is daunting the amount of work this kid needs considering the evaluation some "experts" put on him.
While I found a lot of things I really don't like about his game, he has quite a few great assests in his corner. He displays great accuracy within 10 yards, has good velocity, athletic, big, mediocre pocket presence, arm strength above average, goes through full progression when needed/can when needed.
I did tear into this kid so I should make this clear, a lot of the negatives I pointed out about him can be fixed. It wont be easy and he needs a good QB coach and head coach to help develop him.
If he landed with the right coach at the right time then Hackenberg could really be a good starting quarterback, but he needs at least 2 seasons to work through mechanical and fundamental mistakes he consistently makes. It just about the most consistent part of his game. A big problem that people are stuck on is Hackenbergs early success while paired with head coach Bill O'Brien. O'Brien's system was a lot like the one he ran a earlier with the AFC champion New England Patriots. A scheme built to maximize 1-1 matchups at the sidelines and across the middle. Which gave Hack a lot of open receivers, he also had Allen Robinson whom Hack through to a lot. That is why I say that Hack can be a good QB if he lands with a a good offensive coach where he will be backing up a QB with at least 2 years left.
I would not waste a first or second round pick on this kid. There are just way to many other good players in the draft that teams can pick up in the first two rounds. If I had a late 2nd round pick I might take him if I was the Saints, Jets if they miss out on other potential QBs, Chargers, Dallas if they choose not to pick Wentz or Goff at 4th overall. I dont even know if they have a late 2nd but say they do or they trade for one, Hack could be perfect in Dallas except the lack of a good coach.
He has Romo ahead of him for at least two years, if Hack needs longer I am sure Romo will still be playing at a somewhat acceptable level. Maybe even Houston, but any scenario where Hack would go to Houston and take over the starting job in 2 or even 3 years would mean that Brock Oswieler was a huge bust for the money they gave him, and if that is the case there is little to no chance that the GM i think his name is Rick Smith or something and Bill O'Brien keep their jobs. Leaving Hack in the same position he was in while at Penn State as a sophomore. I think he would be really valuable in the late 3rd round or 4th round. That is where he belongs in terms of his ability. Due to the fact he was the number 1 high school prospect out of his graduating class, he will be going before the fourth and possibly before the third.
If the Saints were to get their hands on Hack they could really turn him into a top starting QB in the NFL. Sean Payton is a great head coach/offensive coach. With Payton as a mentor it would close to impossible for Hack to become a bust. If he wont make it NO, he wouldnt make it with any other team.
If the Pats had a chance to take this kid in the third or the fourth I would love it. He would be the perfect as the incumbent under Brady. A lot of people are clamoring over Garropollo, I like him too, but he might be ready to start next season if not, then definitely the season after. With that being the case, it might cause a huge divide in the organization. That is the last thing I want, I want my Brady well done. I wouldnt mind him totally overcooked, I would be more than willing to start Brady until he starts to put up Manning numbers, even then I still want him at the helm. If Hack was our incumbent, that would give Brady minimum 3 years without real pressure and 5 years to retire which should be more than enough for us, the Patriots, and Brady.
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