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It's time to stop thinking of Christian Hackenberg as a No. 1 pick

The Penn State quarterback struggled, but players like West Virginia safety Karl Joseph, Alabama running back Derrick Henry and Ohio State's Braxton Miller all boosted their NFL stock.

Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

After a summer in which he was being touted by some as a potential No. 1 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, junior quarterback Christian Hackenberg flopped in Penn State's season debut Saturday.

Hackenberg's play was grimmer than his performance -- 11 for 25, 103 yards and an interception -- may lead you to believe. The interception came, surprisingly, when Temple's rush was minimal. On a second-and-2 third quarter play, Hackenberg dropped back, looked to the right and threw toward receiver Chris Godwin. Temple defensive end Sharif Finch jumped in front of the pass, intercepting it and returning it back to Penn State's 1-yard line. The play exposed one of Hackenberg's critical flaws, which is targeting a receiver and getting tunnel vision. He didn't notice Finch and surrendered a game-changing turnover when the score was tied, 10-10.

The Nittany Lions didn't score again the rest of the game and lost 27-10. Hackenberg looked skittish in the pocket most of the game, a result of poor offensive line play that was largely responsible for 10 sacks. A couple of those can be put on Hackenberg for holding onto the ball too long or not picking up blitzes before the snap. For a quarterback entering his third year starting, you'd expect better pre-snap anticipation. Hackenberg also didn't show much ability to move around in the pocket.

Hackenberg's best pass was his second of the game, a mid-length out to the left from the right hash. It showed his strong arm and ball velocity. Unfortunately, Hackenberg didn't get much of a chance to show it. He attempted just two passes over than 15 yards, completing one.

The Penn State offense under Coach James Franklin doesn't seem to suit Hackenberg as well as the offense did when Bill O'Brien was in charge in 2013. Because of that, we may never know how good Hackenberg can be because his development is clearly being stunted at Penn State. This isn't a one-game overreaction either. Hackenberg displayed many of the same issues last season when he completed only 55.8 percent of his passes and threw 15 interceptions compared to 12 touchdowns.

Given Hackenberg's struggles last season and on Saturday, it's hard to buy into him being in talks as the No. 1 pick in next year's draft.

More from Week 1

Although it may have come against Georgia Southern, West Virginia senior safety Karl Joseph had the game of his career with three interceptions and a fumble recovery on Saturday. Coming into this season, Joseph was considered a hard-hitting safety who needed to play better against the pass. Obviously he’s off to a good start.

Georgia Southern is an option team, so Joseph was mostly playing his assignment and capitalizing on some bad passes. But three interceptions is still three interceptions. The best of the three came when Joseph was locked on the hip of a Georgia Southern receiver and had to break back on the ball, quickly stepping in front for the interception.

"He studies so much film, understands it and knows where they want to attack," West Virginia defensive coordinator Tony Gibson said to Fox Sports about Joseph after the game. "The misnomer on him is that he's just a hitter, but he really is so much more than that. He has such instincts and a great feel for the game. He's a kid that just gets it."

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With T.J. Yeldon off to the NFL, Alabama’s backfield now belongs to junior running back Derrick Henry. He proved it in just 13 carries against Wisconsin rushing for 147 yards and three touchdowns. Despite the Badgers often loading the box against the Crimson Tide, Henry used his power to break tackles and showed impressive speed on a 56-yard touchdown run. Just as good as Henry’s running was his pass blocking, which NFL scouts will love. At 6'3 and 242 pounds, Henry will be the next Alabama running back to land in the NFL, following Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson, Eddie Lacy and Yeldon. A taller version of Lacy may be a solid comparison for Henry.

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In less than a half of a game against Alabama A&M, Cincinnati quarterback Gunner Kiel looked impressive. Sure, it was another small school opponent, but Kiel's ball placement and arm strength were really on display.

Kiel was 18 for  22 for 233 yards and two touchdowns. Kiel's best throw came on a 47-yard touchdown that he put right into his receiver's hands for a touchdown. The junior is just as gifted physically as a player like Hackenberg, but doesn't get nearly the amount of publicity. Maybe it's time for that to change.

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Notre Dame star left tackle Ronnie Stanley had a solid game against Texas. Stanley is without peer among college tackles in regard to his footwork and ability to move. His hand play could get better, though.

Fighting Irish linebacker Jaylon Smith was as good as advertised with seven tackles and a sack. Smith's play is similar to that of Bobby Wagner of the Seattle Seahawks.

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In the Temple-Penn State game, the best player on the field looked like Temple center Kyle Friend. He was pushing around acclaimed Penn State defensive tackles Anthony Zettel and Austin Johnson with ease.

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Braxton Miller's conversion from starting quarterback to do-everything offensive weapon for Ohio State looks successful. On a loaded team, Miller looked like the best player on offense Monday night against Virginia Tech. Miller carried the ball six times for 62 yards, which included an incredible 53-yard run. Miller also caught two passes for 78 yards.

The scouts from the 18 NFL teams in attendance had to grade Miller positively for his pass catching skills and his ability in the open field. We still don't know how well Miller can run routes, but the early results are intriguing.