The New York Jets selected cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner with the fourth overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft. Gardner is officially a member of the team after signing a four-year, fully guaranteed rookie contract worth $38.7 million on April 7.
Coming out of Cincinnati, Gardner is known for his speed in coverage and said he mimics his game from former Jets star Darrelle Revis and current cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey and Darius Slay. Gardner hopes to excel in any way the team plans to use him.
“I fit great. However they want to use me, I’m willing to be versatile, I’m willing to do whatever it takes to win,” he said, per the Jets. “They want to play zone, they want to play man, they want to blitz me, they want to put me at linebacker—I don’t think that’s going to happen, but I’m willing to do whatever it takes, however they want to use me.”
After being selected at No. 4, Gardner is expected to start immediately and is ready to get to work. He was considered the best available cornerback in the draft class.
“I’m just going to keep working hard so that way I’ll be able to handle those tough tasks, you know,” he told reporters after being drafted. “… I’m one of the guys that it’s easy to get along with me. I don’t feel I’m too good for anyone. I make sure I inspire others and lead by example. So I feel my personality will fit in well with New York.”
Jets head coach Robert Saleh said Sauce has zone coverage ability and tenacity when tackling.
In his three seasons with the Cincinnati Bearcats, Sauce had 3.5 sacks, nine interceptions, and 99 total tackles. He did not allow a receiving touchdown in three years.
(Photo: John Locher/AP)