The Jets have reportedly scheduled pre-draft visits with Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg and Memphis signal-caller Paxton Lynch.
The team still has yet to sign its desired starting quarterback of choice, Ryan Fitzpatrick. But even if the Jets re-sign the veteran, that won’t preclude them from drafting a quarterback in late April.
Lynch, whose visit is scheduled for April 14, according to a source, is widely considered one of the top three QB prospects in this year’s draft class. He’s a big-bodied quarterback with mobility and arm strength. The 6-7, 244-pounder threw for 3,776 yards, 28 touchdowns and only four interceptions last season.
Meanwhile, there are some question marks regarding Hackenberg.
During his freshman season, he completed 59 percent of his passes and threw for 2,955 yards, 20 touchdowns and 10 interceptions for then-coach Bill O’Brien. But when O’Brien left Penn State to become the coach of the Houston Texans and James Franklin took over the Nittany Lions’ program, Hackenberg’s production dipped considerably.
He threw 12 touchdowns and 15 interceptions as a sophomore, followed by 16 TDs and six picks his junior year. As a three-year starter, he passed for 8,457 yards, 48 TDs and 31 interceptions.
The Jets were on hand for Hackenberg’s Penn State pro day. But the 6-4, 220-pound quarterback reportedly raised eyebrows during interviews with teams. According to MMQB, “two personnel sources on two separate teams” said Hackenberg blamed Franklin for his decline. “Despite the fact that it’s probably true, you don’t want to hear a kid say that,” one evaluator told the website.