As initially reported by Onward State, Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg will be skipping his senior year and heading into the 2016 NFL Draft. The announcement comes immediately after Hackenberg and Penn State lost to the University of Georgia, 24-17, with Hackenberg missing most of the game due to a shoulder injury.
Before this season, Hackenberg’s junior year, he was frequently projected as an upper-tier first-rounder in the 2016 Draft, but that projection has dipped after he posted the lowest passing accuracy in his three collegiate seasons. In his freshman season in 2013, Hackenberg completed 58.9% of his passes, which slid down to 55.8% in 2014, and down to 53.3% this season. Drafting site WalterFootball projects that Hackenberg will be selected by the Houston Texans in the middle of the second round, citing Hackenberg’s collegiate success with former Penn State coach and current Texans coach Bill O’Brien.
Among the 73 collegiate quarterbacks who attempted at least 300 passes this season, Hackenberg (who attempted 345) finished just 70th in accuracy. However, Hackenberg’s five interceptions this season were tied for the second-fewest among the same group of quarterbacks.