Ahmad Gardner
Syndication: The Cincinnati Enquirer

The Jets have selected Cincinnati cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner with the No. 4 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Here are the scouting reports on Gardner:

NFL.com: Long, lean and linear, Gardner’s physical and football growth are on full display when comparing his 2019 tape to 2021. He’s highly competitive with a confidence level that will be labeled as cocky by some evaluators. “Sauce” uses length and hand activity to impose his will on the release and stall the route on the tarmac. Staying connected to the route is a priority, which leads to grabbing when he feels it slipping away but that can be corrected by improving his footwork and trusting his technique. His movements lack fluidity, but he’s urgent and aggravating in man-to-man, which could become a deterrent for NFL quarterbacks scanning to his side of the field if he can avoid a big spike in penalties as he adjusts to NFL officiating. Gardner has the traits and demeanor to become a highly effective CB1 within his first couple of seasons.

DraftWire: Gardner is one of the best and cleanest players in the draft, with traits and production that speak for themselves. His high upside, high floor, high production makeup will ensure he hears his name called early in this year’s draft. He is the best cornerback in an extremely deep and talented class, and every bit as good as the corners who went in the top 10 last year.

Pro Football Network: Gardner has an elite size-athleticism combination at 6-foot-3, 190 pounds. He also offers searing explosiveness and impeccable instincts. He can use those traits in conjunction to make rangy plays in zone coverage. While Gardner has great agility and good fluidity for his size, he’s not the most fluid cornerback. While his efficiency of motion has improved drastically since the start of his career, he still plays a little too high in and out of breaks. Gardner doesn’t always sink his hips enough, and he’s not always lightning quick to recover when he lurches in press.


James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.