For the New York Jets throughout organized team activities and even mandatory mini-camp, quarterback Christian Hackenberg has struggled but it’s too early to judge him.
When it comes to any rookie entering the NFL for the very first time, the transition to the pros isn’t always a breeze. Of course, some are more naturally gifted than others and can pick things up quickly straight to stardom. The majority however, have to put in the time, work and preparation to adjust to the league and hopefully be in a system they can be thrive in.
Such is the case with quarterback Christian Hackenberg, second round 2016 NFL Draft pick by the New York Jets. He’s only really had one successful season at Penn State and started to decline after his freshman year.
Whether it was due to an inconsistent offensive line or the lack of quality coaching above him, Hackenberg was advertised ahead of time before the draft was even here that he’s a developmental kind of quarterback.
Analysts and fans all knew there was no way he’d be ready to start in the NFL this upcoming season which is why the Jets took a chance with him in order to hone his craft for the future. Obviously, news coming out of OTAs and mini-camp that he’s struggling with accuracy and running plays shouldn’t really be a shock to anyone.
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It’s way too early to judge Hackenberg based on his accuracy issues during a time where he’s expected to make a ton of mistakes.
One of the best ways to learn from mistakes is to obviously make them and analyze what not to do next time.
As a potential future starting quarterback, Hackenberg is easily two to three years away from being in any conversation for such a position.
It’s not a knock on him, it’s just that with the right coaching, training and above all else patience, Hackenberg could be developed for a good NFL career. It’ll take a lot of time but he has a decent skill-set that if properly developed, could be enough to be a quality starting option down the road.
Even head coach Todd Bowles knows that Hackenberg has quite the road ahead of him but the work ethics and football IQ is definitely there. Here’s what Bowles had to say about Hackenberg and his progress so far, courtesy of the Media Relations Department of the Jets:
I think he’s getting a better grasp of the system. He’s still seeing defenses he hadn’t seen but he’s not panicking. He’s taking control when he’s in there. You like some of the things you see. He has a long way to go, but he’s making progress.
Overall, expectations for Hackenberg to be some high-caliber quarterback ready to start right out of the gates anytime soon is absurd. Just like any new student in a big classroom, let them settle in, get use to their surroundings and learn before putting it all together to earn their grade.