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The New York Jets took the second cornerback in the 2022 NFL Draft at No. 4 overall, selecting Cincinnati cornerback Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner. He is regarded by many as the top cornerback in the 2022 NFL Draft. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound defensive back was a Consensus All-American, the 2021 AAC Defensive Player of the Year and didn't allow a single touchdown during his collegiate career at Cincinnati.

Gardner is the first first-round pick from Cincinnati in 50 years. Sauce was a star through and through, as he was a First Team All-AAC player in each of his three collegiate seasons, and allowed just 122 total passing yards when targeted in 2021. He said Wednesday that he believes he's the "chosen one," and that there's no way he can be a bust. 

Grade: B+

Pete Prisco: If you are to win the AFC East, you have to stop the Bills and Josh Allen. That means cover corners are at a premium. Gardner is the best cover player in the draft. This should mean more man coverage for Robert Saleh and crew. Good pick.

Scouting report

Rating: 92.87 (All-Pro)

Grade: B+

Pro Comparison: Richard Sherman

Strengths: Physical cornerback with a willingness to play downhill and make a tackle in the backfield. Tall with long arms. True man coverage cornerback. Not afraid to mix it up with opponents. Able to stay in-phase while simultaneously playing the ball. Extensive track record of production dating back to his freshman season. Very confident player.

Weaknesses: Handsy downfield and that can lead to penalties at the second level. Needs to do a better job of coming to balance in space and making a form tackle. How will he respond in the NFL when he is tested or gives up his first touchdown. Carries a slim frame.


  • 2021: AAC Defensive Player of the Year
  • 2019-2021: 0 pass TDs allowed in 1,059 career coverage snaps