Ranking the top 10 cornerbacks in NY Jets history

Darrelle Revis? Sauce Gardner? Who are the greatest cornerbacks in Jets history?
NY Jets, Sauce Gardner
NY Jets, Sauce Gardner / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages
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8. Johnny Sample, CB, NY Jets

Johnny Sample played for the Jets from 1966 to 1968 and was a key contributor to the team's Super Bowl III-winning season. His physicality, coverage skills, and ball-hawking ability were instrumental in the Jets' success. Sample's impact on the field, particularly in big games, solidified his place among the top cornerbacks in Jets history.

Sample is one of the only players on the list to start his career elsewhere and then come to the Jets, where he finished his career off with a bang by winning the 1968 Super Bowl with the team.

Across three seasons with the Jets, sample started all 41 games he played in, tallying 17 interceptions and recovering a fumble. Sample played long before the age of passes defended and tackles, but it is without a doubt he would have been a key contributor in those fields as well.

It was in the 1968 Super Bowl that Sample made his defining play as a Jet, intercepting an Earl Morrall pass in the second quarter of the upset win. Sample would finish his career with 41 interceptions across 11 seasons with four teams.

7. Sauce Gardner, CB, NY Jets

Sauce Gardner was the fourth overall pick of the 2022 NFL Draft as the Jets identified the need for a shutdown corner. Despite high expectations for a rookie cornerback, Gardner's rookie season defied all odds and is placed in the upper echelon of individual seasons, for not just a Jets' cornerback but anyone throughout NFL history.

Gardner was voted as the first rookie cornerback to make the first team All-Pro team since Ronnie Lott in 1981. Additionally, he finished eighth in Defensive Player of the Year voting — unheard of for a rookie cornerback. To add to the awards, Gardner won the Rookie Defensive Player of the Year award and made the Pro Bowl as an AFC starter.

Gardner started all 17 games as a rookie and intercepted two passes for the Jets. More impressively, though, Gardner led the entire NFL with 20 passes defended in his rookie season. This proves that opponents were testing Gardner regularly, but he routinely found ways to neutralize other teams' best players.

Gardner also tallied 75 total tackles, including three tackles for loss, and managed to get a quarterback hit in there as well. The future for the Jets' defense is certainly bright with Gardner in the fold.

The only question left for Gardner is to see how long he can keep this up and if he will one day catch some of the Jets' and NFL greats at the position.