Is Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner The Next Great Cornerback?

Is Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner The Next Great Cornerback?
Image © Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Frank Weber
Frank Weber
May 19th 2023

If you’re unfamiliar with “Sauce,” it’s time for you to introduce yourself. Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner was the fourth overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft and will be suiting up in green this year for the New York Jets. 

Gardner played college ball for the Cincinnati Bearcats and was an integral part of the team's secondary for all three of his collegiate years. Seeing as Gardner was the fourth overall pick in the draft, it should come as no surprise when I say he’s talented. However, I feel like not many people know just how talented he is. Let me take a moment to show you why I feel he will be one of the next great Cornerbacks in the NFL.

Gardner’s College Dominance

Gardner played in college for three seasons and totaled nine interceptions in his career (three per season). However, what the statistics don’t show is his sheer dominance over opposing receivers. 

Throughout his entire college career, Gardner NEVER allowed a touchdown to the man he was covering. So in his time in Cincinnati, no one has ever scored on Gardner–an impressive feat for sure. What’s even MORE impressive is that in his final collegiate season, he never allowed more than 13 yards in a game to the player he was covering. Talk about a shutdown corner.

Gardner’s dominance didn’t stop in college, though–it even carried over to the preseason. Gardner wasn’t able to show off his interception skills, but mostly because he was never even TARGETED in his three preseason showings. So, QBs are already terrified of him. Isn’t that awesome?

Sauce Gardner DROY Odds

Gardner certainly comes into the league with a lot of hype, but can he live up to the expectations? The Jets are no strangers to having elite secondary athletes (Darrelle Revis, Jamal Adams, etc.) but is Sauce Gardner the newest star? Or, in typical Jets fashion, will he come out and just stink?

I’m going with the former–personally, I’ll even be sprinkling some money on Ahmad Gardner to win the Defensive Rookie of the Year Award. Right now, according to BetMGM Sportsbook, he is sitting at +1100 to do so. Those are the eighth best odds, behind only these players:

  • Aidan Hutchinson +450
  • Travon Walker +650
  • Quay Walker +800
  • Kayvon Thibodeaux +900
  • Kyle Hamilton +900
  • Jermaine Johnson +900
  • Derek Stingley Jr +900

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