Jets Take CB Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner At No. 4

“Sauce” is heading to New York. Cincinnati cornerback Ahmad Gardner has been selected by the Jets at No. 4.

Armed with a pair of first-round picks and a number of holes on their roster, it was uncertain what direction the Jets would go in at No. 4. Ultimately, they landed on one of the draft’s top cornerbacks, exactly one pick after the first player at that position went off the board.

Gardner is one of the draft’s top prospects, and for good reason. Standing at 6-foot-3, the cornerback ran a 4.41 in the 40-yard dash, and after allowing only 6.6 yards per reception last season, he earned consensus All-American and conference Defensive Player of the Year. In 33 games with Cincinnati, the cornerback had nine interceptions.

Naturally, Sauce was connected to a number of teams throughout the pre-draft process. There was a prevailing sentiment that Sauce wouldn’t get past the Giants at No. 7. Instead, he didn’t get past the other New York squad at No. 4.

Gardner should be a day-one starter for the Jets thanks to his elite length and speed. Last year, the Jets were the third-worst team against the pass, allowing 259.4 yards per game and collecting just seven INTs. Some pundits believed that the Jets would select an offensive lineman to pair with 2021 first-round QB Zach Wilson. Instead, the Cincinnati cornerback was too good to pass up, and the Jets now have a mainstay in their secondary for years to come.

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