New York Jets Christian Hackenberg
(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The New York Jets admitted their colossal mistake of drafting Christian Hackenberg. So why don’t we add insult to injury by revealing who the Jets passed on to take the Penn State signal-caller?

This is officially the end of the Christian Hackenberg experience. There are no more crossing fingers, hoping for something to happen as if the New York Jets were withholding releasing the Hackenberg for any other reason than he sucks.

There’s a reason the Jets haven’t played Hackenberg in two years. Despite having one of the worst quarterback situations physically possible. There were some Jets fans holding out saying maybe the Jets are just being super patient with his development. Wishful thinking.

When the Jets decided to take Hackenberg with the 51st overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, there was a lot of pessimism because there seemed to be a lot of flaws with his game. Now two-plus years later, this has proven to be one of the worst picks in franchise history.

So why don’t we make Jets fans squirm even more with deep dark regret? Here are the top players the green and white decided to pass on because they wanted Hackenberg so bad.

With the 52nd overall pick, the very next pick after the Jets took Hackenberg, the Atlanta Falcons selected linebacker Deion Jones out of LSU.

Yes that Deion Jones. He’s been a superstar for the Falcons over the last two years garnering 246 tackles, six interceptions, and two touchdowns. An athletic playmaker who can cover running backs, tight ends, and wide receivers alike. This one hurts for the Jets, I’m not going to lie.

Staying on defense …

With the 64th overall pick, the Tennessee Titans selected Kevin Byard, a safety out of Middle Tennessee State. Some fans may not recognize the name immediately but you should because he led the NFL in interceptions last year with eight.

While the Jets have a really good pair of safeties, neither of them have reached that level of success in creating turnovers. So another opportunity was clearly missed here.

New York Jets

Staying on the defensive side of the ball and I’ll forewarn you, this one is probably going to be the most painful pill to swallow. Especially when you consider how bad the Jets have been at finding pass rushers over the last couple of years.

With the 69th overall pick the Jacksonville Jaguars took a relatively unknown Maryland product by the name of Yannick Ngakoue (say that five times fast). In two years he has 20 sacks and he’s also been a solid run defender. I’m pretty certain that Jets fans have a picture of Ngakoue next to their bedside that they give a kiss before bed. But alas, another one bites the dust.

So long story short, the Jets whiffed on the Hackenberg project and could’ve had something special with someone else. But with how everything played out, I think most Jets fans would suggest that getting anything for Hackenberg was a major win. Although a conditional seventh-round pick essentially equates to a half-eaten Snickers bar.

New York Jets

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