NY Jets Week 7 Rookie Stock Report: Sauce Gardner joins an elite level

NY Jets, Sauce Gardner
NY Jets, Sauce Gardner / Dustin Bradford/GettyImages

It was a bittersweet Sunday for the NY Jets as they faced off against the Denver Broncos. They kept their winning streak going (now at four), but they lost their best two offensive players to season-ending injuries.

Versatile offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker will be out for the remainder of the 2022 season as will budding star and presumptive 2022 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Breece Hall.

Hall is now one of three rookies to have suffered injuries to keep them out of games this season. While the potential of this class is sky-high, it's disappointing to see players get hurt to limit them so early on in their careers.

Lets start with the player who has opened eyes across the league and even was awarded the AFC Defensive Player of the Week: Sauce Gardner

Blue-Chip Stock: Sauce Gardner, CB, NY Jets ($SAUCE)

  • Stats: 10 tackles, 3 passes defended, 100% snap count

Sauce Gardner continues to be in the conversation for the best player on the field every single week. Simply put, against the Denver Broncos, he won the game for the Jets.

It was a low-scoring affair where the defenses on both sides and their ability to limit first downs and big plays kept their teams in the game.

For some reason, backup quarterback Brett Rypien decided to target Gardner 10 times in the game. The rookie corner gave up just 16 yards on those targets, including some huge stops in key moments toward the end of the game.

Gardner's lockdown ability has been a key factor in getting this defense to jump from 32nd in DVOA last year to 10th currently.

The first-year cornerback out of Cincinnati is already on a historic pace this year. So many people talk about "the jump" for rookies but Gardner has been ready for the NFL from the moment he got drafted.

Trading Halted: Breece Hall, RB, NY Jets ($BREECE)

  • Stats: 4 rushes for 72 yards, 1 rushing touchdown, 20% snap count

Breece Hall's numbers for the day factoring in his injury show just how big of a loss this will be for the team.

Hall had the play of the game when he broke open for a 62-yard touchdown run, something that fans were getting used to. Unfortunately, shortly thereafter, Hall went down with a torn ACL and his rookie season is now over.

Hall will hopefully be back in time for the 2023 season, and while this surely limits the ceiling of the offense it is a great thing to know that the Jets have one of the brightest talents at the running back position on their team.

The second-round pick that the team moved up for immediately made his presence felt and as time progressed he started to become one of the most talked about stories in the league due to his game-changing ability.

The Jets will now need to figure out how to effectively run the ball without Hall, as well as how to get the passing game going. There could be another rookie to help out for the latter.

Buy the Dip: Garrett Wilson, WR, NY Jets ($GDUB)

  • Stats: 4 targets, 4 receptions for 24 yards, 73% snap count

Speaking of ways to help the passing game, this might be the lowest Garrett Wilson's stock will be based on the need to get the ball in playmakers' hands now that Hall is out.

Whether it is finding a way to get Wilson the ball with jet sweeps, quick screens, or some other way, he should now be prioritized in this offense. He was close with Hall in terms of talent but now he leads the way in terms of big play ability on the team.

Both he and Elijah Moore should be targeted more as the season goes on considering the team is unlikely to sustain a similar ability to run the ball.

With Moore still figuring his way back into good graces, it will likely be a Wilson-to-Wilson connection that emerges (especially if Corey Davis misses time).

Next. It's time for NY Jets QB Zach Wilson to prove he's the guy. dark

Wilson has been able to get open often throughout the first six games of his career, it will now be on the shoulders of Zach Wilson to open things up more as the reliance on stellar play of all areas outside of the passing game will be difficult to sustain.