One stat captures how historically bad the Jets' Christian Hackenberg draft pick was

Christian Hackenberg is a quarterback for the New York Jets in the sense that he's on the official roster, has his own jersey number and a locker in the locker room, and spends most of his Sundays on a football field with his teammates.

But Hackenberg's never thrown a pass in an NFL game during his two-year career. Despite getting drafted 51st overall in the 2016 NFL Draft, Hackenberg's yet to play in an actual football game for the Jets. In that sense, he's more of an idea of a quarterback than an actual quarterback. 

It turns out, his inactivity is actually historic. According to Chase Stuart of, Hackenberg is the first quarterback in more than 35 years to get drafted in the first two rounds and then not throw a pass during his first two NFL seasons.

Stuart noted in his story that Gary Keithley (second-round pick of the Cardinals in 1973), Glenn Carano (second-round pick of the 1977 Cowboys, and Gene Bradley (second-round pick of the 1980 Bills) are the only first or second-round quarterbacks since 1970 to go pass-less during their first two professional seasons. So, Hackenberg just joined a pretty exclusive club. 

It's probably not what the Jets had in mind when they drafted Hackenberg. As a result of that pick, they've been forced to trot out the following starters over the past two seasons:

Why is this relevant? It's relevant because the Jets are, once again, searching for their next franchise quarterback. McCown served as a capable bridge quarterback in 2017, throwing 18 touchdowns and nine interceptions for a 94.5 passer rating, but with no successor on the roster, he ended up being nothing more than a bridge to nowhere. Hackenberg, despite his alleged "upside," likely isn't that successor even though he's still only 23 years old.

The worst part? McCown actually overachieved, leading the Jets to five wins, which means they won't pick until No. 6 in this year's draft. By that point, the top quarterbacks could already be off the board. 

All signs point to the Jets chasing Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins in free agency. They've got the cap space to pay him. Cousins is a fan of offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates. And CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora has been reporting for a while now that the Jets intend to sign Cousins.

If the Jets can't lure Cousins to New York, expect them to target a quarterback in the draft. Our NFL Draft writer, Chris Trapasso, has Baker Mayfield falling to them in his latest mock draft. If it comes to that, hopefully it goes better than the last time the Jets used a draft pick on a quarterback. 

Then again, that's a pretty low bar to clear.

CBS Sports Writer

Sean Wagner-McGough joined CBS Sports in 2015 after graduating from UC Berkeley. A native of Seattle, Sean now resides in the Bay Area. He spends his spare time defending Jay Cutler on Twitter. Full Bio

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