PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

Christian Hackenberg Cracks Top 10 In Early NFL Mock Drafts

With the 2015 NFL Draft winding down, it’s time to look toward 2016, and what better way to do that than with way-too-early mock drafts? This seems to be a popular trend with many different sports media outlets, and we try our best to avoid them, but many of the mocks have Penn State’s star quarterback in the top 10. This means the experts are projecting a great junior campaign for Christian Hackenberg.

Many of the mock drafts come from sources like Bleacher Report (No. 5 to Washington Redskins), CBS Sports (No. 6 to New York Jets), SB Nation (No. 8 to Houston Texans) and plenty more. With these early mock drafts offering such shining predictions for Hack, there’s a few questions to answer as the season approaches.

Should He Leave?

The burning question every junior collegiate athlete ponders around the end of junior year: Should I go to the next level? That question will be brought up a lot over the course of next season and Hackenberg will have to make the decision next January. If he does leave, 2016 prospect Jake Zembiec, freshman Tommy Stevens, and sophomore Trace McSorley will duke it out to become the starter for the 2016 season.

Hackenberg would go on to the NFL and earn big time money, but some will question his choice to leave school early. However, the appeal of a starting professional gig and a multi-million dollar rookie contract could be far too great to pass up. Of course, this all hinges on how successful the upcoming season is, but based on ability and physical traits alone, Hackenberg has likely already solidified a spot in the first three rounds.

Why Would He Leave?

One thing that would certainly make Hackenberg leave would be the assurance of becoming the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, or at least the top-ranked quarterback. Not many players would pass up being the first name called on draft night. It isn’t guaranteed to be the first overall pick, as just two years ago it seemed like Johnny Manziel left Texas A&M for a chance to be the top pick, only to fall at No. 22 to the Browns. If Hackenberg is a surefire selection early in the first round, risking injury or a senior slump would be too risky.

There’s also the possibility Hackenberg would leave due to the lack of skill positions around him. If players like DaeSean Hamilton and Akeel Lynch have a big year, they could also leave for the draft, leaving Hackenberg with far fewer weapons to work with. There’s no question Hack has his eyes on a national championship, but unless a really special Penn State team is in the making within the next two years — cross your fingers — he’d be crazy to pass up a starting job in the NFL.

Where Would He Fit?

Many of the mock drafts that have Hackenberg going early have him headed to places like New York, Chicago, and Washington. Those are all good places for Hackenberg to succeed, but there is only one location that stands out as the best fit: the Houston Texans. Houston would be thrilled to have a quarterback with their current lack of talent and depth at the position for the past couple of years. The Texans have great weapons in DeAndre Hopkins and 2015 third-round pick Jaelen Strong, a nice run game with Arian Foster, and a familiar face in head coach Bill O’Brien, the man that recruited Hackenberg to Penn State in 2012.

What Will He Have To Do?

For Hackenberg to leave Happy Valley and go to the NFL, he must perform well next season to be considered in the top 10. He hit a bit of a road bump last season, but does have the recognition and talent to be a top 10 pick. For him to guarantee his top 10 status, Hackenberg would have to go back to his freshman year performance. With a year of experience in James Franklin’s system and an improved offensive line and receiving corps, it’s difficult to imagine anything but a prolific senior performance.

***

Christian Hackenberg will be an interesting story to watch next season, and fans and scouts alike will look to see if he can continue where he left off at the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. He already has the talent and size to be a first rounder, so if he can perform to the high caliber of play he’s capable of most of next season, there’s a real chance we could hear his name called first on draft night.

About the Author

Jacob Abrams

Jacob Abrams is a sophomore from Oxford, PA, majoring in Management in the Smeal College of Business. Jacob is the President/GM of The LION 90.7 FM along with being a play-by-play commentator and sports talk show host. He is a sports fanatic, and strongly supports the Philadelphia Phillies, Flyers, Sixers, and the New Orleans Saints. He is a first-generation Penn Stater, and in his free time he likes to play sports and sing. You can follow him on Twitter @jake_abrams and contact him at [email protected]

Comments

More by Jacob

Penn State Baseball Takes One Of Three Against Maryland In Weekend Series

Penn State needed a rebound performance at home as it played host to Big Ten rival Maryland for a three-game series this weekend, but it didn’t go as planned.

Christian Hackenberg Selected No. 51 Overall By The New York Jets In The 2016 NFL Draft

Penn State Baseball Falls To Kent State 6-2 At Home

Athletics

Big Ten Releases Men’s And Women’s Basketball Schedules

Penn State men’s basketball will kick off the Big Ten’s first-ever 20-game conference stretch with a pair of games in early December, while the Lady Lions have a slate featuring games against five NCAA Tournament teams at home.

Penn State Hockey Releases 2018-19 Roster

Penn State Women’s Soccer Sophomores Start Season Strong

Penn State Women’s Soccer Beats Duquesne 6-0

Shea Moyer Lifts Penn State Women’s Soccer Past West Virginia 1-0

Student Life

Staff Picks: Grabbing A Drink With A Prominent Penn Stater

If you had the chance to hear about Penn State from (or throw down at a State College bar for a night with) some of its most prominent figures, who would you want to grab a beer with?

Freshman 101: Helpful Links

Nominations Now Open For Gender-Neutral Homecoming Court

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Mayor Don Hahn Plans To Veto Overnight Parking Restrictions In Highlands Neighborhood

Those in favor of the ordinance plan to consider overturning the veto at a special meeting next Monday.

Video Recovery, Alcohol Education The Focus As New Preliminary Hearing Begins For Former Beta Theta Pi Brothers

Seven former Beta Theta Pi brothers were back in court on Tuesday for another preliminary hearing  in the Penn State fraternity hazing case stemming from the 2017 death of pledge Timothy Piazza.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Staff Picks: Grabbing A Drink With A Prominent Penn Stater

If you had the chance to hear about Penn State from (or throw down at a State College bar for a night with) some of its most prominent figures, who would you want to grab a beer with?

Send this to a friend