Wednesday May 11th, 2016

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Jets wide receiver Eric Decker was surprised New York drafted quarterback Christian Hackenberg so early in this year’s NFL draft, he told reporters on Tuesday.

“I was a little surprised, to be honest,” Decker said, according to the New York Daily News. “To get a quarterback in the second round, that’s a big decision. You’re saying a lot about him.

“But again, Mike (Maccagnan), (the front office), they scout, they do their research and their homework for a reason. They saw something special in him. They wanted to get him earlier than later, I guess.”

KAHLER: How the Jets landed Christian Hackenberg

New York drafted the Penn State quarterback with the No. 51 pick, despite being projected to be selected in the third round by SI’s mock drafts.

The Jets now have quarterbacks Hackenberg, Geno Smith and Bryce Petty on their roster, and are still trying to sign free-agent Ryan Fitzpatrick, who performed well in his first season with the team last year. 

Fitzpatrick, 33, has said he would rather not play next season than accept the deal of $7 million to $8 million annually that the Jets have reportedly offered him. Despite Fitzpatrick’s reluctance to sign, Decker said the players want him to be their quarterback.

• BURKE: 2017 NFL Mock Draft: The QBs set to dominate next spring

“Just because of the camaraderie we’ve built and the relationship we had this past year and what we can build upon, I think he definitely is the right man for the type of team we have now,” Decker said. “It’s a team that I think is ready to win now. And we need someone, a veteran presence, at the quarterback position.”

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