NY Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner put together one of the best rookie seasons in recent memory in 2022, solidifying himself as arguably the league's top cornerback. Not everyone believes the hype is warranted, however.
Gardner was recently ranked second behind Patrick Surtain II in an ESPN survey of over 80 league executives, coaches, scouts, and players. You can certainly make that argument, but it was a quote from one anonymous NFL scout that should leave Jets fans rolling their eyes.
"He's going to be great, but No. 1 is a bit rich. He probably gets more hype because he plays in New York."- Anonymous veteran NFL scout
Yes, we're still doing this. Not only do some fans of rival organizations believe Gardner gets preferential treatment because he plays in New York, but it seems that narrative extends to some individuals within the NFL as well.
Needless to say, the numbers support the notion that Gardner was the best cornerback in the NFL last season. The Jets have never received preferential treatment from the NFL and certainly not the media. That hasn't changed.
Other NY Jets news
Jets lose important analytics executive
The Jets reportedly lost a key member of their analytics staff on Monday. ESPN's Seth Walder is reporting that the Jets' Coordinator of Analytics, Zach Stuart, is leaving to take a job with the New Orleans Saints.
Stuart has been with the Jets in some capacity since the 2020 season and was one of the team's highest-ranking analytics executives. He will become the Saints' new Director of Analytics following the departure of Ryan Herman in May.
With the NFL becoming more analytics-driven, these jobs will continue to become more valuable. This is a not-so-insignificant loss for the Jets.
Quinnen Williams snubbed by the NFL
Quinnen Williams broke out as one of the best pure defensive players in the NFL last season. The former No. 3 overall pick finished with a career-best 12 sacks en route to a first-team All-Pro selection.
He was one of just four players to receive first-place votes for Defensive Player of the Year. Despite this, some don't believe he belongs in the elite tier of defensive tackles. In fact, at least one NFL figure doesn't even think he's a top-10 player at his position.
In that same ESPN survey from earlier, Williams was ranked as the fourth-best defensive tackle in football behind Aaron Donald, Chris Jones, and Jeffery Simmons. The highest ranking he received was second. The lowest ranking was...unranked.
It's fair to suggest that Donald and Jones should be ahead of Williams. Things get a little trickier when you include Simmons. But the real crime here is that at least one person didn't even include him on their top-10 list.
What are we even doing here? Who has some weird vendetta against Quinnen Williams?