The special 2022 draft class for the New York Jets was recognized in a big way at the NFL Honors tonight. Both Garrett Wilson and Sauce Gardner won the Rookie of the Year award. This is just the third time in NFL history that one team has had both the Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year. Certainly, one tremendous accomplishment for the Jets.
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New York Jets’ Garrett Wilson and Sauce Gardner take home ROY honors:
A core reason for the Jets’ long 12-year playoff drought has been poor drafting. With two top-10 picks in last year’s draft, the Jets needed that to change. Gardner and Wilson came in and did that. They provided so much excitement for Jets fans for the first time in a long time, in just their first years.
Wilson takes the Offensive Rookie of the Year after posting a final stat line consisting of 83 catches, 1,103 yards (13.3 per catch), and four touchdowns. He concluded year one with six games of 90 or more receiving yards, three of them went over 100. Wilson finished 20th in the NFL in receptions and 15th in yards, already putting himself in the conversation as one of the league’s best wide receivers. Wilson had this incredible production with four different quarterbacks.
Gardner earns the Defensive Rookie of the Year following a season in which he led the NFL in passes defended with 20. He recorded two interceptions as well. Gardner stepped up to the plate against prime wide receivers every week and shut them all down. Whether it was his coverage or ability to make plays on the ball, Gardner was special. This Rookie of the Year honor comes after he became the first rookie cornerback to be a first team All-Pro in 41 years. Gardner already established himself as, pound-for-pound, the best cornerback in the National Football League.
This is a thrilling night for Gardner and Wilson. It is also worth mentioning Breece Hall, who, had he not gotten hurt, would have been right there for this award. This Jets draft class did not just live up to the hype but went on to shatter expectations. Wilson and Gardner deserve tons of praise for both representing the Jets as Rookie of the Year. With Wilson, Gardner, and Hall leading the way, the Jets could have one very promising future for years to come.