Sauce Gardner shockingly excluded from top CB list by active NFL star

Did he forget Sauce Gardner exists?
Sauce Gardner
Sauce Gardner / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

Sauce Gardner is undisputedly one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. In reality, there isn't a good argument to be made that he's not the best cornerback in football, but let's just give ourselves some leeway here.

The NY Jets' cornerback has made consecutive first-team All-Pro teams to start his career, something literally no other player at his position has ever done. It's not a stretch to say that, if he continues on this trajectory, he will be one of the best defensive players in NFL history.

Despite this, some still aren't ready to give Gardner the credit he deserves. One such individual is Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Joey Porter Jr., who recently left Gardner off his list of the top-five cornerbacks in the NFL today.

Of course, Porter made sure to put himself on the list along with a couple of other questionable choices. Gardner, however, was nowhere to be found.

NY Jets' Sauce Gardner is the best cornerback in the NFL (and it shouldn't be a debate)

Porter insists that Tennessee Titans cornerback L'Jarius Sneed is the best player at his position in the NFL, followed by Trent McDuffie of the Kansas City Chiefs, Jaylon Johnson of the Chicago Bears, Patrick Surtain II of the Denver Broncos, and, of course, Porter himself.

Johnson and Surtain both deserve spots on the list, particularly Johnson who is coming off one of the most impressive seasons by a cornerback we've seen in recent history. The others....not so much.

Sneed was penalized a whopping 18 times in 2023, six more than any other cornerback. Who ranked second you ask? That would be none other than Porter, whose 66.6 Pro Football Focus coverage grade was merely middle of the pack.

Now, we could go into the specifics as to why this list is egregiously bad. We can list off all the exact coverage numbers that prove everything Porter is saying wrong. But is that really necessary?

There's no metric anyone could find that would point to players like Sneed, Porter, and even McDuffie (who is admittedly better than the other two) being on this list over a player like Gardner.

Gardner has had the best two-year stretch of any cornerback to begin an NFL career. He's statistically been the best cornerback in football two years in a row, which shouldn't be possible for a rookie at arguably the most volatile position in the sport.

This is why it's usually not best to take the opinion of those currently playing seriously. Porter doesn't watch every game. He doesn't study the numbers, nor does he watch film of every cornerback in the sport. It would be impossible for him to offer a valid opinion on this subject.

That's especially evident when he includes himself on a list like this. Even the staunchest of Steelers supporters would tell you that Porter is not a top-five cornerback in the NFL at this stage — he's nowhere close.

One day Sauce Gardner will receive the respect he's rightfully earned. It seems today is not yet that day.