Without selecting a QB in the 2017 NFL Draft, the New York Jets provided a vote of confidence to second-year Christian Hackenberg.
One conclusion I can draw from the 2017 NFL Draft is that the New York Jets are ready to invest. The Jets didn’t select a quarterback with any of their nine picks in the draft last week.
This means that they’re “comfortable” with the current quarterback room. It also means they’re “comfortable” with Christian Hackenberg as a starter. Why is that?
While we understand why happened, we definitely need to ask ourselves why they feel so comfortable. What has Hackenberg accomplished that allows Mike Maccagnan to go into 2017 with this current QB setup?
Let’s just say Josh McCown has a history with not finishing. Actually, he hasn’t finished a full season in God knows how long. He has an awful career record (18-42) and the prop bets have already started on how long he’ll last in 2017.
It’s a funny narrative, though. Everyone says the “Aaron Rodgers” treatment is the most effective way of developing a quarterback. Yet, it hasn’t happened in nearly a decade.
That’s right, Hackenberg didn’t take a single snap in 2016, becoming the first quarterback since Brian Brohm (Green Bay Packers, 2008) to be drafted in the first or second round and not play as a rookie, per ESPN Stats and Information.
Although, it seems like everyone has already concluded, despite not taking a single snap in the regular season, that Hackenberg is already joining the long-line of second round pick busts for the Jets.
If Hackenberg would’ve looked like Dak Prescott in the preseason, it wouldn’t have changed anything. Ultimately, your legacy is defined by what happens in the postseason, but the Jets haven’t been there in a hot minute, so let’s shoot for the regular season instead.
I’m actually pretty excited to see Hackenberg get his chance this season. Todd Bowles said that the pecking order for who gets the first shot will be determined later this month in OTAs and offseason training.
But history tends to repeat itself. McCown doesn’t stay healthy, so regardless of when Hackenberg gets in there, he will. While John Morton hasn’t revealed what kind of offensive system he will use, he has hinted.
Christian Hackenberg Time?
With some of the Jets additions through the NFL Draft, it sure seems like he’ll have a west coast system. Insert: ArDarius Stewart (WR, Alabama), Chad Hansen (WR, California) and Jordan Leggett (TE, Clemson).
Hackenberg isn’t set up for the same success that Mark Sanchez was back in 2009. He doesn’t have an all-star OL. He doesn’t have a No. 1 defense. He’s also not equipped with an All-Pro receiving corps.
He does, however, have a solid supporting staff — a nice up and coming receiving corps. that added some talent in the draft. They finally have a weapon at the tight end position. Plus on paper, they have a chance to have an elite playmaker at every level of the defense.
That’s a great recipe for turning this program around. The Jets haven’t proven that they’re a quarterback nurturing ground by any means, but I think this is a good situation.
Hackenberg won’t be able to say that a David Carr situation happened. His success or failure will fall squarely on his shoulders. I will admit I was infatuated with Deshaun Watson and secretly wanted the Jets to take a chance if Jamal Adams wasn’t there, but this was probably the best course of action considering the overall abilities of the current depth chart.
Obviously, he was the choice, so the rest is history, but I’m glad the Jets didn’t take a signal caller. Hackenberg deserves a chance to prove whether he can be the guy or not. That’ll be the theme of the season without a doubt. Wins or losses are meaningless. The Jets need to find out whether Hackenberg can be the guy.
He has a 16 game audition, more or less, if he can prove his worth in that time frame. The 2018 mock drafts are already out and many have the Jets as a top-three pick and of course selecting a signal caller. So the clock isn’t only ticking for the Jets next pick, but quite possibly on Hackenberg’s future with the Jets.