With the fourth overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the New York Jets draft Sauce Gardner, cornerback out of Cincinnati. The cover-man from Cincinnati did not allow a single touchdown in his final season as a Bearcat. He has a long reach and larger than typical body type for the position. He loves to play physical, and will not back down when asked to cover the NFL’s best. Let’s take a closer look at Gardner.
Sauce Gardner Highlights
Jets Draft Sauce Gardner | 2022 NFL Draft Profile
Sauce Gardner Draft Profile
Sauce Gardner’s height helps him stack up against any wide receiver. He is good at jamming receivers at the line and is easily able to keep up with virtually anybody from a speed perspective. Gardner has a dog mentality and he does a good job at times of reading the quarterback’s eyes. He is able to make every catch difficult and although he played in a weak American conference, Gardner matched up extremely well against Alabama wide receiver Jameson Williams in the national semifinal.
One of the biggest knocks on Gardner is his unnecessary physicality. Penalties have been a problem for him in college as he often panics and grabs receivers when he gets beat. In the NFL with even tighter officiating and stronger competition, this will be a problem for him. While he has a tall frame, he also has a very skinny build that will make it tough for him to bring the physicality necessary day one.
Sauce Gardner Stats 2021 | Cincinnati Bearcats
Coverage Snaps: 482
Completion Rate: 48.6%
Yards Allowed: 122
Passer Rating: 22.6
What to Expect From Sauce Gardner in 2022
It’s clear Sauce Gardner was drafted this high to contribute immediately. He will likely step in as the top cover option in a defensive backfield that struggled mightily last season. He never had a colligate season with less than three interceptions, so look for him to play a large role in the turnover game as well.