Damian Strohmeyer via AP/Ric Tapia via AP

Once seen as developmental projects with strong upside, Christian Hackenberg—who saw no snaps in the Eagles second preseason game—and Paxton Lynch are nearly off the radar in the NFL.

By Kalyn Kahler
August 17, 2018

The 2016 NFL draft is a case of have and have-nots when it comes to the quarterbacks. The same draft that gave us Carson Wentz, Jared Goff and Dak Prescott also gave us... Paxton Lynch and Christian Hackenberg. On the eve of their third NFL season, we’re due to check in on the have-nots.

Hackenberg, who was picked in the second round of the 2016 draft by the Jets, spent two mystifying seasons in New York where he never once took a regular-season snap. In May, New York traded him to Oakland, who released him three weeks later. Hackenberg was unemployed until the Eagles signed him last Sunday. And in his first practice reps as an Eagle on Tuesday, he threw ... two interceptions. Hackenberg was reportedly going to get a few snaps in last night’s preseason game against the Patriots, but even after Nick Foles exited with a shoulder strain, Nate Sudfeld and Joe Callahan took over QB responsibilities for Philadelphia.

Lynch, the Broncos first-rounder in 2016, is quickly headed the way of Hackenberg, going from franchise quarterback hopeful to third-stringer. After a disappointing preseason performance against the Vikings (6 of 11 for 24 yards, no touchdowns, one interception and a 22.2 passer rating), Denver demoted Lynch to No. 3 on the Broncos’ QB depth chart and promoted 2017 Mr. Irrelevant Chad Kelly behind Case Keenum. Broncos fans booed Lynch off the field, and one fan even started a GoFundMe dedicated to covering the cost of the Broncos cutting Lynch.

“It’s really more about what Chad’s done, honestly,” head coach Vance Joseph said Monday. “Chad’s played well, he’s played with poise, he’s played with confidence. He moved the ball for us on Saturday night.”

The depth chart is fluid right now, but this order will stick at least through at least Saturday night’s game against Chicago. And it’s not the first time he’s been surpassed by a seventh-rounder on the depth chart. Trevor Siemian (Denver’s 2015 seventh-round pick) beat out Lynch for the starting job in ’16 and ’17. Elway always said Lynch was a developmental pick, but now going into his third season, it’s clear Lynch hasn’t shown the development Denver expected and this demotion doesn’t bode well for his future with the Broncos.

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NFL PRESEASON WEEK 2 SCORE UPDATE

New England 37, Philadelphia 20
Green Bay 51, Pittsburgh 34
Washington 15, N.Y. Jets 13

Week 2 of the NFL preseason kicked off with a little Thursday-night action, and Conor Orr has five things that we learned from last night’s games.

HOT READS

NOW ON THE MMQB: Jonathan Jones on the pressure on head coach Marvin Lewis and the 2018 Bengals ... Albert Breer on high expectations in Houston ... Robert Klemko from Chargers camp in Irvine, Calif.

WHAT YOU MAY HAVE MISSED: Yours truly with the inside story of Su’a Cravens’s ugly divorce from the Redskins.

PRESS COVERAGE

1. Technology has informed the Eagles that Carson Wentz is throwing harder than last season.

2. John Elway says Colin Kaepernick had his chance to play for the Broncos.

3. Why Elway's comments on Kaepernick are problematic.

4. Dez Bryant apparently picked up the phone. He met with the Browns in Cleveland.

5. Cardinals running back David Johnson feels “forgotten.”

6. Jordan McNair's parents say Maryland head coach DJ Durkin should be fired and not allowed to work with any other players. 

7. Jalen Ramsey’s criticism made it's way around the league. Here, Golden Tate defends Matthew Stafford from Ramsey’s trash talk.


THE KICKER

Andy Dalton announced he is donating to a Buffalo cancer center, after Bills fans donated some $415,000 to Dalton's charity last season when Dalton's win sent the Bills to the playoffs.

Question? Comment? Story idea? Let the team know at talkback@themmqb.com

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