All reports say the Redskins and Kirk Cousins are far apart on a long-term deal, and in the meantime, Washington is meeting for the second time with former PSU QB Christian Hackenberg.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 19, 2016
Hackenberg - who the Redskins have already met with at the combine - is one of the more interesting quarterbacks in the 2016 NFL Draft. He was hailed as a savior for the Penn State program when he decided to commit to coach Bill O'Brien. During his freshman year, playing under O'Brien, Hackenberg was impressive, throwing for nearly 3,000 yards with 20 TDs against 10 interceptions.
In two subsequent seasons after the departure of O'Brien, Hackenberg never quite looked the same. The Penn State offensive line underperformed and the QB took a lot of hits, not to mention some interesting back and forth comments between Hackenberg and his new coach James Franklin.
The question for talent evaluators will be who is Hackenberg - the freshman phenom or the sophomore and junior who struggled with ball placement and showed hints of immaturity. After his freshman year, Hackenberg was viewed as a potential No. 1 overall pick. Now, his draft stock varies widely depending where you look, but he is no longer projected to be drafted in the first or even early in the second round, and if he fell to the third day of the draft would not register as a shock. Then again, once teams start drafting quarterbacks, sometimes a panic sets in for other QB-needy teams and passers jump higher than projections.
What does it mean that Redskins brass is meeting with Hackenberg again? Scot McCloughan and the 'Skins have made it clear they would like to draft a developmental QB if possible, and depending where Hackenberg is available, he could represent a good option if the value is there. At 6'4" and 220 lbs, Hackenberg is an ideal size for an NFL QB and certainly has a strong arm.
Consider Cousins is only on a one-year deal, with the potential of another one-year deal next season if the 'Skins went that way, a player like Hackenberg sitting and learning for a few seasons would be sound football decision making. How the Cousins' camp might feel about the move, however, could be looked at differently.