Penn State freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg has the potential to be the best player on the planet.
No, really, he doesn’t.
But I figured that would get the attention of a bunch of Penn State fans who are suffering through a very rough college football season. Christian Hackenberg has three more years at Penn State, and ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper recently opined on Christian Hackenberg’s status for the 2017 NFL draft — because it’s never too early to start predicting when a football player is going to be the Next Big Thing.
Here’s our first round 2014 NFL mock draft
Here’s a snippet of what Mel Kiper said about Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg:
“I think in terms of Hackenberg, you saw him a lot even before he was playing at Penn State. You saw him coming through as a high school kid, and watching all the things that you are able to watch now, like his passing skills. And, for the most part, as a freshman, he’s done a good job.
“There have been some mistakes and some throws he’d like to get back. But overall for a freshman he’s accounted himself very well, and it gives (Penn State) great hope that next year or year after — he is guaranteed to be there three years — he can do some great things. They are going to bring in the personnel around him and they have some young players that are evolving with him.
“Having the size and stature and the arm strength he does, is going to make him a guy the NFL will have a lot of interest in come the 2017 draft, after his junior year.”
So he’s already thought of as leaving school early for the draft guy.
Christian Hackenberg has the size to play in the NFL, according to Mel Kiper, and is 6-4, 243 pounds. In Christian Hackenberg’s freshman season so far at Penn State, he is completing 59 percent of his passes, has thrown for 14 touchdowns and is averaging 239.9 yards per game, third in the Big Ten. He’s 10th in the Big Ten in pass efficiency with a rating of 128.8.
Later Kiper mentioned Allen Robinson as a mid round, 3-4 kind of prospect.Follow paulmbanks