Hackenberg is one of the more puzzling prospects available. Why did a player with Hackenberg's physical skills and throwing arm struggle so much over his final two seasons at PSU? Blame has been shared in plenty of directions, from poor protection by his offensive line, to Hackenberg's own shortcomings, to the offense employed by Nittany Lions coach James Franklin.
More important for NFL scouts, however, is not so much what Hackenberg has been, but what he can be.
The Cowboys are in need of a young quarterback to groom behind Tony Romo, whose career has been interrupted by injuries and, at age 35, could be approaching its end. As such, the team has worked out no fewer than four quarterbacks in this year's draft: Hackenberg, Mississippi State's Dak Prescott, Memphis' Paxton Lynch and Michigan State's Connor Cook.
Dallas holds the No. 4 overall pick of the draft, but team owner Jerry Jones has said the pick won't be used on a quarterback. None of the quarterbacks the Cowboys are known to have worked out are projected as a top-five pick. Dallas picks No. 34 overall in the second round and No. 67 overall in the third.
Philadelphia has worked out QBs Carson Wentz (North Dakota State), Jared Goff (Cal), Kevin Hogan (Stanford) and Lynch this week alone. The Eagles have QBs Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel under contract, but they're interest in QB prospects appears to be serious, as owner Jeffrey Lurie has been making the trip for each workout. The Eagles hold pick No. 8 and don't pick again until Round 3, where they have two picks (Nos. 77 and 79).