School: Penn State.
Combine measurables: 6-foot-4, 223 pounds.
Combine stats: 40-yard dash: 4.78 seconds. Vertical jump: 31 inches. 3-cone drill: 7.04 seconds. Broad jump: 9 feet, 6 inches.
Career stats: 38 games, 693 of 1,235, 8,457 yards, 48 touchdowns, 31 interceptions, 208 carries, minus-242 yards, 6 touchdowns.
Draft projection: Second-third round.
Lowdown: Exceptionally strong arm and throws a nice, tight spiral, although accuracy and ball placement leave something to be desired. … Good size and athleticism. … Despite working from a simple spread offense, was only able to complete 53 percent of his passes and had ordinary production. … Took far too many sacks, a reflection of not always being fast enough with his progression reads and often falling short in processing what he sees. … Performed his best as a freshman, when Bill O’Brien coached the Nittany Lions, and mostly regressed after O’Brien left for the Houston Texans before Hackenberg’s sophomore season and James Franklin took over. … Needs to develop better instincts. … Scouts think he would have been well served by staying in school for his final year of eligibility. … Some NFL teams were turned off during their interviews with him when he blamed Franklin and Penn State’s coaching staff for his struggles the past two years.
They said it: “I was at the Manning Passing Academy last summer, and I stood next to Hackenberg and watched him throw the ball. Big, strong kid, big arm, ball comes out beautifully. I mean, visually, you want to buy into that, you want that. But the tape is so bad. … Remember Logan Thomas a couple of years ago from Virginia Tech? … Hackenberg, great freshman year … Logan Thomas was similar. If you saw him his red-shirt freshman year in the (Sugar) bowl game against Michigan, you would say, ‘Two years from now, he’ll be the first pick of the draft.’ But his tape was so bad, (Arizona Cardinals coach) Bruce Arians took him in the fourth round, and he’s still struggling.” – NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock
– Vic Carucci
The Buffalo News is profiling 50 prospects in 50 days leading up to the NFL Draft, which begins April 28.