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Jets take a flier on Hackenberg as QB of future

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In a standoff with free agent Ryan Fitzpatrick, Gang Green have added to their quarterback room.

With the No. 51 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the New York Jets selected Penn State signal-caller Christian Hackenberg.

This marks the fourth consecutive year in which the Jets have drafted a quarterback, joining 2013 second-rounder Geno Smith, 2014 seventh-rounder Tajh Boyd and 2015 fourth-rounder Bryce Petty.

Opinions on Hackenberg's NFL prospects are all over the map. He regressed mightily the past two years after a impressive freshman season under Bill O'Brien with the Nittany Lions.

Although the 6-foot-4 Hackenberg is a prototypical pocket passer with an effortless motion, his accuracy and mechanical issues are obvious red flags.

"After his freshman year people looked at him as the first pick in the draft," one scout told Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "A premier-type talent like that is so hard to find. He could be as talented as any of these quarterbacks. He's got the arm, the body. He's actually a competitor. But when you look at his career you say, 'Where's the production?'"

ESPN's Jon Gruden also believes Hackenberg showed enough promise in his freshman year to merit a high pick as long as he lands in the right system with a quarterback guru capable of refining his fundamentals. He'll be working with a highly respected offensive mind in coordinator Chan Gailey.

The selection of Hackenberg raises obvious questions about Fitzpatrick's future with the organization. The Jets have been eyeing the former Penn State star for months, with the intention of grooming him to take over down the road, per NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport.

Hackenberg will not be a candidate to start as a rookie, but his presence might lead the Jets to lean toward a shorter-term contract offer for Fitzpatrick.

The Jets also picked up LB Jordan Jenkins in the third round.

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