- Christian Hackenberg, the New York Jets’ 2016 second-round draft pick, reportedly threw interceptions in his first two practice throws with the Philadelphia Eagles.
- Hackenberg signed with the Eagles this week after the Raiders cut him following a trade from the Jets.
- Hackenberg is yet to take a regular season snap in the NFL.
Christian Hackenberg’s second chance in the NFL reportedly did not get off to a good start.
Hackenberg – the New York Jets’ second-round draft pick in 2016 who was traded to the Oakland Raiders this offseason and then cut – signed with the Philadelphia Eagles this week.
On Tuesday, in the 23-year-old Hackenberg’s first practice, he immediately threw two interceptions, according to Philly.com’s Jeff McLane. McLane noted that the drill was designed to favour the defence, so it wasn’t entirely on Hackenberg. Nonetheless, given Hackenberg’s reputation, the optics aren’t great.
The Jets surprised most of the football world two years ago when they selected Hackenberg out of Penn State in the second round. Some draft experts did not even have Hackenberg on their big boards.
In two seasons with the Jets, Hackenberg never took a regular season snap, getting buried on the depth chart below Ryan Fitzpatrick, Geno Smith, Bryce Petty, and Josh McCown.
Though Hackenberg never played in a regular season game, his other reps were not encouraging. During training camp in 2017, Hackenberg made more headlines for a troubling tendency to throw the ball so far off the field that it was hitting reporters. In preseason action, he completed 57% of his passes for 372 yards, with two touchdowns, two interceptions, and a 68 passer rating.
This past May, the Jets traded Hackenberg to the Raiders for a conditional 7th-round pick. The Raiders cut Hackenberg in June.
Upon joining the Eagles, Hackenberg said he was up for the challenge of sticking with the team, adding it’s better than sitting on the couch.
“I assume they signed me for a reason, so I’m just going to come in and give it everything I have in terms of picking it up and trying to push myself and learning as much as I am mentally and taking that on and also making sure I stay up on everything physically,” he said. “It’s going to be tough, but again it’s a challenge that I’m excited for. It’s better than sitting on the couch.”
With Carson Wentz, Nick Foles, and Nate Sudfeld already on the roster, Hackenberg may have a hard time getting a spot with the Eagles. But perhaps a solid showing in Philly could eventually lead to a real chance in the NFL with another team.
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