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With the 2nd pick in the 2nd round of the 2016 Draft, the Cowboys drafted Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith at 34th overall.  Smith tore his ACL and MCL in the Fiesta Bowl, but Dallas was willing to take the risk with by giving Smith a redshirt season.

With the 41st pick, Buffalo traded up for linebacker Reggie Ragland, who wound up missing his entire rookie season after tearing the ACL in his left knee in training camp. With the 50th pick, Houston drafted offensive lineman Nick Martin, who also was injured in training camp and wound up missing his entire rookie year.

Those three players, and Bengals first round pick William Jackson (who tore his pec in August), were four of the five players selected in the first two rounds of the 2016 Draft who failed to see the field. Jets second round pick, quarterback Christian Hackenberg, was the fifth.

That makes Hackenberg the 17th quarterback since the common draft (1967) to fail to make the field as a rookie despite being drafted in the first or second round. For the most part, that’s because those quarterbacks were behind entrenched starters. [click to continue…]


A rare sighting: Christian Hackenberg throwing a pass for the Jets

Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg was a very polarizing prospect. Pro Football Focus called him undraftable, and he ranked as the 2nd-worst quarterback in college football in 2014.

But there’s one thing we know: at least someone in the Jets organization really liked him. That person, presumably, is general manager Mike Maccagnan, although it’s likely that head coach Todd Bowles and now-retired offensive coordinator Chan Gailey (and perhaps owner Woody Johnson) had positive thoughts about Hackenberg, too. We know this because the Jets drafted Hackenberg with the 51st pick in the 2016 Draft, so obviously New York wanted him on the team.

Hackenberg was stuck behind Ryan Fitzpatrick, Geno Smith, and Bryce Petty as a rookie.  He was the fourth string quarterback for much of the year, so even once Smith and Petty were hurt, Hackenberg never had enough reps to make him prepared to take the field over Fitzpatrick even in the season finale.

So where do the Jets (which I am using as a stand in for Maccagnan, or a combination of Maccagnan and Bowles) stand on Hackenberg now? There are a few possibilities: [click to continue…]