The third part of our Hackenberg scouting report deals with the lack of talent/ability around the QB in his time at PSU.
Is the RG blind? He has absolutely no one to block, and all but moves right out of the way from the blitzing line backer. The only thing he does is extend his arm out like he was asking for a high five as the line backer flies right by. Hackenberg is in the process of moving from his first read to second read when he gets taken out. This play is from his second year there, the start of the James Franklin era, and therefore notice the absolute lack of anyone being open on this play. This is a play where the offensive line holds back the rush, allowing someone to wriggle free, but Hackenberg doesn’t get that shot at all. The guy making the sack is Jets first round pick Darron Lee.
Different RG, similar result. In this case, Michigan State sends a dual LB blitz alas there are six players are going after the QB. Half of those rushers reach the QB as if they were running through air. The RG ignores all of them to actually double team the one rusher that was actually properly blocked. As you see from the receivers running, none of them were running hot routes, so there is nowhere to throw this ball. This is a sack you can’t blame on Hackenberg, because he has absolutely no shot at turning this into a good play. By the time he reaches the top of his drop back, he’s toast.
This is an issue that is far too familiar to Jet fans, mainly from the likes of Stephen Hill. The QB is scrambling for his life and running to the side. Dancing tango with the CB in the same spot isn’t going make you open. This is where a fundamentally sound WR runs across the field away from the CB or up the field to try and provide the QB with any kind of target. Unfortunately, this WR stands right there hugging the CB, and therefore Hackenberg has nowhere to throw this ball. Come back for the pass, do anything. This play shows the rawness of the WRs on the roster.
Just a flat out drop by the WR, no way around it. The pass is perfectly throw, but flat out dropped. This should have been a first down, but instead goes down as an incomplete pass. In the background, fan favorite RG is doing a good job blocking air again.
This is an absolute gem of a throw, that is dropped. Hackenberg rolls out from the pocket, and throws an absolute laser right to the hands of the diving WR. Replays from other angles show that the ball hit him perfectly in the hand, yet he still drops the pass. The ball is placed where the WR is the only one that has a shot at the pass, but it’s another dropped pass.
This is somewhat of a touch catch in traffic, but most decent WRs this side of Clyde Gates make this catch. In another replay, this pass also hits him perfectly in his hands, and yet is still dropped. Hackenberg steps up in the pocket and delivers a good pass between two defenders, but the drop really hurts him here.
This is another example where Hackenberg is throwing while being hit, but places the ball well for his WR to catch, but he drops the pass.
This is a blitz by the Eagles from the right side, and Hackenberg makes a bad throw. This is still a bad play by the TE, because that pass is still catch-able, but this one has plenty of fault to go around. For one, Hackenberg needs to learn to put touch on his short throws so they are easier to catch for his receivers. The players running out there need to actually catch passes that are hitting them in both hands. Also, our favorite right guard faces a touch challenge here. There are three players rushing with only two lineman to that side. So it was a losing proposition, thus he picked one rusher and focused on him, and was in the process of losing.
Overall, the talent level at Penn State around Hackenberg was atrocious. The offensive line play was horrible, especially from the right side. The receivers were raw dropping catch-able passes, while showing raw route running skills.