The Jets 2017 OTA practices are finished and there’s been some slight optimism that maybe 2nd year QB Christian Hackenberg has a shot at contributing something……anything, this season. If nothing else, at least giving fans something to watch besides 38 year old journeyman Josh McCown. That a decent week of OTA’s is a big step forward for Hackenberg is in itself a damning look at the abyss that is the Jets QB corp, but the Jets will take it after a rookie season where Hackenberg had anonymous coaches questioning if he could hit large bodies of water with the football. You have to be pretty bad in practice for a team like the 2016 Jets to not even consider putting you into a game.
Fortunately Hackenberg does still have an extremely high ceiling. He’s huge at 6’4” 225 and can take a beating as his last two years at Penn state showed. He has big time arm strength and is able to make any throw to any part of the field, with touch. He’s also one of the smartest QB prospects in the League, running a variation of Tom Brady’s offense as an 18 year old kid. Hackenberg frequently made pre-snap reads, dissected blitzes, and adjusted protection on his own in college with one of the worst offensive lines anyone has ever seen. Hackenberg was loved by his team for his leadership and his loyalty to the program even after sanctions crippled the team. All of that doesn’t mean anything if Hackenberg can’t fix his woeful accuracy issues though. Throw in that accuracy is one of the hardest and rarest things for a Quarterback to fix in the pros and you can see why he was a controversial pick in the 2nd round for the Jets.
The Jets are hoping that Hackenberg can correct those errors after he spent the off-season working with Jordan Palmer (Carson’s brother) and is apparently taking well to Jeremy Bates tutelage. For what it’s worth McCown has been impressed so far, saying “he’s how you draw a QB up.” Time will tell if Hackenberg can be THE MAN for the J-E-T-S but if he doesn’t show significant improvement, Jets GM Mike Maccagnan won’t hesitate to grab one of the many talented QB’s in next year’s draft.