Former Penn State quarterback blames NFL team for ruining his career

When he was drafted by the New York Jets in 2016, Christian Hackenberg had some hype and hope around him to become a quality quarterback in the NFL. Hackenberg now says that the environment and quarterback room he was in set him up to fail.
New York Jets v New England Patriots
New York Jets v New England Patriots / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

When Penn State was dealing with sanctions, it was without question the most difficult time in the program's history. However, none of that mattered for the 2013 top quarterback recruit Christan Hackenberg who committed to play for the Nittany Lions.

Hackenberg had a solid first season under Bill O'Brien, but his TD-to-INT ratio dropped to 12 to 15 in his second year. Then, under James Franklin, as a third-year starter, Hackenberg threw 16 touchdowns to 6 picks but threw for 500 fewer yards than he had during his first two seasons.

One could argue that since Hackenberg did not necessarily fit James Franklin's system, his progression halted. Nevertheless, Hackenberg was still a highly regarded prospect, choosing to forego his final year of eligibility and enter the 2016 NFL draft where he was drafted in the 2nd round.

Unfortunately, Hackenberg never transformed into an NFL-caliber quarterback, despite seemingly having all the tools to become one. Recently Hackenberg came out with an explanation for his struggles on the Ross Tucker Podcast, "New York was probably the last place I should've gone."

Hackenberg would further state how the organization having four quarterbacks at the time lacked any direction for him, "You know my rookie year, we ended up keeping four quarterbacks, so there was just not a lot opportunity for me to develop an grow."

While Hackenberg was not afraid to voice his frustrations about where the New York Jets went wrong, he also held himself accountable for the situation.

"When I look at it introspectively, I was young, I needed a lot of help and I needed a lot of direction and guidance and I never sought that out."

Hackenberg was last released by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2018. He ranks 3rd on Penn State's all-time passing list with 8,427 and 3rd for all-time touchdown passes with 48.

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