Jets snag Ahmad Gardner with No. 4 overall selection
Gardner was the second consecutive cornerback to come off the board after the Houston Texans selected Derek Stingley Jr. with the third overall pick.
The new Jets cornerback was a corner piece of Cincinnati's defense. Gardner recorded nine interceptions during his time with the Bearcats, including three in 2021. He was named AAC Defensive Player of the Year in his final campaign with Cincinnati.
New York will inject Gardner into a defense that grabbed only seven interceptions in 2021, with five coming from defensive backs. He'll join a cornerback group featuring the likes of D.J. Reed and Bryce Hall, among others.
Scouting profile: Ahmad Gardner
Gardner has more than enough size to match up with even the biggest receivers, and he doesn't sacrifice anything in the speed department. That's a rare combination from a physical perspective. Add in the intelligence and the competitiveness he brings to the table, and you've got a top-10 talent at the cornerback position. Shiftier receivers could pose a challenge in man coverage - his short-area quicks aren't great, and he tends to reach and grab in the route - but technique refinement can help him clean that up at the next level. Gardner should be an instant impact player with Pro Bowl potential.