When Chris Hackett declared for the draft, I let out a "Damn it" loud enough to wake my dog down the hall and cause her to start barking, for the simple reason that I wanted more from him. Not that he owes me anything, he's contributed three years of stellar safety play to the Frogs and for that I will be eternally grateful, but it seemed like the potential was there for him to have a truly special season if he returned for the 2015 season. Although his play has been exemplary, the Frogs already had established leaders on defense in linebacker Paul Dawson, safety Sam Carter, cornerback Kevin White and tackle Chucky Hunter, all seniors, and their tremendous talents opened the field up for Chris to float around the field and make plays. And boy did he ever.
A free roaming Hackett is an absolute joy to watch, and he may well be the first safety to make me feel just as excited as I am worried when the opposing team throws deep down the field- sure, they might make the catch and perhaps score a touchdown, but seemingly just as likely, Hackett might be there. I had mental images of Chris continuing his growth, emerging as a leader on the defense and being a frontrunner for the Jim Thorpe award for the nation's top DB, but instead the siren's call of the NFL pulled another TCU player away from Fort Worth... possibly to his detriment. For all of Hackett's great film, he continued the trend of TCU players struggling at the draft combine, as his 4.81 time in the 40 yard dash had him make NFL.com in the way no prospect wants- as his stock purportedly took the biggest hit after his workout. Although his pro day 40 time of 4.68 was significantly improved, the narrative of draft sites seemed to have already been written, as some sites pre-workout prediction of possibly a second or third round pick turned into a prediction of a sixth round home for Hackett by CBS Sports. On the other hand, SBNation's own New York Giants and Dallas Cowboy sites still see a second or third round placement for Hackett. This means that, much like his time on the field at TCU, Hackett will be one of the most interesting men to watch on draft day- and once again, we'll be hoping he comes up big.