Grading the NY Jets' last 10 first-round draft picks
By Ryan Shafer
2022, 4th overall: Sauce Gardner, CB, NY Jets
The Jets, because of the earlier Jamal Adams trade, also had two first-round selections in the 2022 draft. The first of those choices came at number four overall. The Jets chose cornerback Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner from Cincinnati.
What Gardner managed to do in his rookie year was nothing short of sensational. He immediately paired up with D.J. Reed to form arguably the best cornerback duo in the league.
Gardner led the league with 20 passes defended, adding two interceptions as well. He was named to the Pro Bowl, first-team All-Pro, was named the Defensive Rookie of the Year, and had some serious consideration for NFL Defensive Player of the Year, coming in eighth in the final voting.
He became the first rookie cornerback since Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott to be named a first-team All-Pro in their first NFL season. That's how historic Gardner's rookie campaign was.
Gardner is one of the best defensive players in the league already and appears to be on track to be the best selection for the NY Jets in recent memory. His length, speed, and agility make him a phenomenal defensive back.
If he keeps this up, Gardner can quickly turn into this generation's Darrelle Revis for the Jets. He's already well on his way, given what he accomplished in just one NFL season.