Wednesday, August 10, 2022

NFL teams plan to attack Jets rookie in 2022: Insider

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Ahmad Gardner made history when he was ranked No. 4 overall in the 2022 NFL draft.

During his tenure as head of the New York Jets, he was instantly named the highest-drafted defenseman by general manager Joe Douglas. Sauce also became the highest drafted player in Cincinnati football history.

Though all the days of glitz and glamor are over, an insider believes a reality check is imminent for the talented cornerback.

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A panel of draft experts from The Athletic answered a variety of mailbag-style questions ahead of training camp and the 2022 regular season.

NFL draft analyst Dane Brugler was asked which defensive rookie will have the most impact, and he said Sauce was his type:

“I’m going with Corner Sauce Gardner, who was supposed to fill in as an outside starter for the Jets from day one. College offenses stayed away from his side of the field last season, but it will be the reverse in the NFL as teams look to tackle the rookie on an island. And in a division with stud receivers like Stefon Diggs and Tyreek Hill, the Jets need Gardner to be the playmaker they think he is.”

In his three years with the Bearcats, Gardner was targeted just 138 times. After he gained a reputation as a playmaking cornerback, teams began avoiding his side of the field:

While all of those numbers raise eyebrows, the most impressive stat nugget is his touchdown-less streak.

In 33 career games, the talented cornerback never gave up a touchdown. However, as Brugler noted in his answer, a particular narrative will change dramatically.

Once Sauce was a well-known entity on college football teams, they started avoiding him, but in the NFL it will be the “opposite.”

Teams will test Sauce early and often to find out if the college tape was just hype or not. They’ll do their best to attack him, which should be uncharted territory for the lanky defender.

Interestingly, that should open the door for Sauce to get some voices in the Defensive Rookie of the Year conversation.

Only eight corners have ever escaped the hardware in the award’s illustrious history:

According to Vegas Insider, Sauce shares the sixth best odds with another player (Devin Lloyd, linebacker, Jacksonville Jaguars) at +1000.

With a large number of targets coming his way, Sauce will either sink or swim. He’ll either take those opportunities and rack up a bunch of picks, or his touchdown drought will end painfully.

NFL opponents won’t be the only ones not showing respect, the same goes for the Madden rating team.

Gardner was featured in a segment where newcomers had to guess what their overall Madden rating was on social media. He got 78 right, but if he wants it to rank among the best in the league, Sauce will have to prove it on the gridiron.

If Brugler is right about the goals coming his way, the talented corner shouldn’t be short of opportunities to make his name a household name this season.

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According to Vegas Insider, Sauce shares the sixth best odds with another player (Devin Lloyd, linebacker, Jacksonville Jaguars) at +1000.

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