Jordan And Carson Palmer Help Hackenberg Prepare For The NFL Draft
While Penn State’s current quarterbacks are preparing for a three-way battle to become the starter, Christian Hackenberg is training for the NFL Draft with free agent quarterback Jordan Palmer. Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports wrote an in-depth feature on the pair’s winter workouts.
Palmer’s NFL career spanned across six teams in eight seasons, but a lot of his notability recently has come from his older brother, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer. Carson had an elite regular season and led the Cardinals to the NFC Championship Game, but they got smoked by the Panthers on Sunday night. Throughout the postseason run, the brothers were in constant communication so Jordan could project Carson’s training on Hackenberg. In other words, Hackenberg has spent the last few weeks as if he was preparing for an NFL conference championship.
“I just wanted to come into a situation where it was just like work,” Hackenberg told Dodd. “I didn’t have to worry about cameras. Focus on myself and get prepared as possible.”
Speculations on Hackenberg’s landing spot in the draft are all over the place, as even NFL writer (and Dodd’s colleague) Chris Trapasso told us last week he predicts Hackenberg will go anywhere from round two to five. Bill O’Brien and the Texans, in need of a quarterback, might be interested, but teams also might be scared away by his inconsistent play. All of that is either rumor or the result of actions in the past, and those can’t be changed. All Hackenberg can control is his preparation and his ability to be the best he can be as NFL evaluations happen closer to the draft.
Penn State’s all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns received praise from his father and former coach in the article. Erick Hackenberg looked back at his son’s career and said, “Take [top draft prospects] Jared [Goff] or Connor [Cook] and put them on Penn State the last two years. They don’t make it through.”
Erick Hackenberg also said that O’Brien told him the only other quarterback who quickly understood his offensive system is Tom Brady.
The draft is at the end of April and the NFL Combine is at the end of February. After all of the offseason formalities are done and a professional team inevitably signs Hackenberg, he’ll have his chance to fight for a starting role and prove himself.
“We’re getting ready to be a pro,” Palmer said. “We’re getting ready for the league. If he goes in the third round it doesn’t mean he can’t be rookie of the year.”
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