NFL Insider: Christian Hackenberg will not get past certain team in first round
If and when Christian Hackenberg declares for the NFL draft, his stock will be a hot topic of discussion for the next five months.
There’s no way around it.
It’s apparently already a talking point. When NFL Insider Phil Savage joined ESPN’s “Russillo and Kanell” on Thursday, he discussed where he thought the Penn State quarterback would be selected, assuming he forgoes his senior year.
Savage talked about the notion that many scouts have cooled on their early rave reviews of Hackenberg. His 53-percent accuracy this year, Savage said, will prevent him from being a slam dunk early-round pick.
But there is a potential fit in the first round.
“I can promise you, though, the Houston Texans, wherever they end up picking, they’re probably the one team that will be willing to move up for Hackenberg,” Savage said. “He will not get past (former Penn State coach) Bill O’Brien and the Houston Texans, in my opinion.”
That would reunite Hackenberg with the coach that engineered his 20-touchdown freshman season in Happy Valley. In O’Brien’s system, Hackenberg completed nearly 59 percent of his passes and came just 45 yards short of eclipsing 3,000 yards as a true freshman.
The Texans are in need of a quarterback, having shuffled former Michigan State signal-caller Brian Hoyer and T.J. Yates this season. Houston likely will likely get a crack at selecting Hackenberg, assuming a potential draft combine doesn’t completely eliminate the concerns scouts have.
Hackenberg will have until Jan. 18 to declare for the NFL draft. He likely won’t address the matter until after the Lions play in the TaxSlayer Bowl against Georgia on Jan. 2.