With the NFL Draft just two months away, the first full realistic predictions for the outcome of the draft are just coming out.
At the top of the draft, the Tennessee Titans are faced with another tough decision with the first overall pick. After taking Marcus Mariota with the second overall pick last year, many are predicting they protect their investment with an offensive lineman this year.
Other teams at the bottom of the order are looking to reassure themselves for another playoff run. The Broncos are predicted to take several different players, but the one factor that they’ve had in common is that every player supports the staunch defense that took the team all the way to the Super Bowl.
The one question mark that will affect many teams in the draft is what will the Texans do about Christian Hackenberg, and what will everyone else do about him.
The Hackenberg-Texans relationship rumors have been flying for a while now. Hackenberg was amazing his freshman year at Penn State under his former coach Bill O’Brien. O’Brien is now with the Texans. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to put two and two together, but it took a bit of time for the proposal to be taken seriously.
The Texans, conveniently, are in need of a franchise quarterback. Despite making the playoffs, the struggling franchise started three different quarterbacks over the course of the year, including Brandon Weeden who was rostered with two separate teams before finding his way onto the Texans team.
The Texans aren’t the only team in need for a quarterback either, which may pressure some teams to snag Hackenberg before the Texans are on the clock with the twenty-second pick.
The Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles are all teams that are in desperate need of a starting quarterback.
The New Orleans Saints, Arizona Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants are teams that also may be in the market for a quarterback but for different reasons. For these franchises, their starting quarterbacks are 34 or older and don’t necessarily have a franchise worthy quarterback behind them.
The one positive of the Texans snagging the former five star prospect is that O’Brien directly recruited him and the team will already be aware of his intangibles. Whether or not his statistical slum the last two years will affect his draft stock is another story entirely.