Former draft bust savages NY Jets in critical but justified rant

Christian Hackenberg was brutally honest, but was he right?
Christian Hackenberg
Christian Hackenberg / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

There have been a lot of infamous draft busts in recent NY Jets history, but perhaps none were more embarrassing for the organization than Christian Hackenberg.

Hackenberg may not have been a first-round pick, but the ensuing circus that followed the shocking Hackenberg selection left a sour taste in the mouths of many fans and garnered plenty of negative attention for the struggling franchise.

Hackenberg was a disaster for the Jets, never appearing in an NFL game and finding himself benched in the short-lived AAF after failing to score a single touchdown in three games.

Who is to blame for Hackenberg's failed football career? As always, quarterback development is a complex discussion that typically relies on a number of variables. If you ask Hackenberg, the Jets certainly played a major role in his shortcomings at the NFL level.

Christian Hackenberg blames the NY Jets for his failed career

In a recent appearance on the "Ross Tucker Podcast," Hackenberg insisted that the Jets were the worst possible landing spot for the former top Penn State recruit. He told Tucker that the Jets had "no plan" as an organization, blaming the team for his lack of reps and overall development.

In Hackenberg's defense, he did later take blame for his own struggles, insisting that he was young and never sought out the guidance he needed. This wasn't a situation where Hackenberg was blaming his issues entirely on the Jets.

That said, he shared strong criticism toward the Jets and firmly believes that the organization hindered his development.

"New York was probably the last place I should’ve gone, in terms of the market, the expectations, the way it was. In my rookie year, we ended up keeping four quarterbacks. So there was just not a lot of opportunity for me to develop and grow. No plan, kind of an up-and-down organization."

Christian Hackenberg

While Hackenberg's struggles were obviously not solely the fault of the Jets, he's not entirely wrong here. The Jets, at the time, were a dismal situation for any young quarterback, and the way they handled the Hackenberg situation certainly didn't help matters.

For starters, the Jets overdrafted the Penn State product. Hackenberg was seen by most as a Day 3 developmental prospect who needed a lot of time and development before he was ready to play in an NFL game.

Instead, then-general manager Mike Maccagnan drafted Hackenberg in the second round, placing unnecessary and unfair expectations on the young QB. Combine that with a fan base that was desperate for a young quarterback to latch on to and this was a recipe for disaster.

As Hackenberg says, the Jets also decided to carry four quarterbacks for his rookie season, leaving him with very few reps in practice. It's difficult for a young quarterback to develop when you can't even get on the field in practice, let alone in an actual game.

The Jets had poor organizational infrastructure, a weak offensive supporting cast, and a lackluster offensive coaching staff. They paired that with a massive project of a quarterback who was immediately expected to be something he wasn't.

The Christian Hackenberg experiment was a predictable disaster from the start. Yes, Hackenberg is to blame for his own shortcomings, but the Jets certainly didn't do him any favors. He isn't wrong about his analysis.