The Jets will likely be one of the league's worst teams next season, and a big part of just how bad they'll be will come down to their quarterback situation. Christian Hackenberg, the 2016 second-round pick, didn't see the field at all as a rookie, but he'll have the opportunity to win the job in the coming weeks.

The reviews through voluntary workouts weren't great , and at least one report from minicamp, which started Tuesday, had Hackenberg inadvertently beaning reporters with errant throws.

But there have also been signs of progress, hints that Hackenberg is improving.'s Connor Hughes went so far as to call Hackenberg one of the standouts from Day 1 of minicamp. He was 11 of 14 with a touchdown, an interception and a dropped pass.

"He's made some progress," coach Todd Bowles said after practice. "We're putting in a lot of stuff every day and as they get to think about it and go through it, the more reps they get the better. Him, [Bryce] Petty, and [Josh] McCown are making some progress."

McCown, the 38-year-old veteran, appears to have the inside track on the starting job. But wherever he ends up on the depth chart, Bowles has a reason for signing the journeyman quarterback.

"Even when you go to kindergarten, somebody has to be the teacher," the coach said in comments distributed by the team. "You're not going to have everybody young. You're going to have the majority of the team young, [but] you're not going to have everybody young. You're going to have some guys on your team that have played some years. It is not going to be a total washout like [they're] all freshman coming into college, but the majority of them are young and then the other majority can help in other ways, so it's a fine line between choosing all young and picking which guys to or not to get rid of."

It's a familiar role for McCown, who served as the de facto kindergarten teacher in Cleveland several years ago when Johnny Manziel was still in the league.

The good news -- if you can call it that -- is that the Jets are expected to be terrible, so if ever there was a stress-free environment to see what Hackenberg can do, this is it. That said, it's also hard to evaluate a player -- especially a quarterback -- when he's surrounded by replacement-level talent.

More good news: Should the Jets live down to expectations, the 2017 NFL Draft is expected to be loaded with franchise quarterbacks.