The New York Giants possess a fantastic opportunity to build their roster with two top-ten picks in the 2022 NFL Draft. The expectation is that the Giants will address arguably their two biggest needs with these picks: offensive line and pass-rusher. However, options are plentiful for New York. Their roster could use improvement in a variety of places. This year’s draft class in particular is rich in cornerback talent with numerous prospects set to be drafted in the first round. The rumor mill is swirling and it seems like the Giants could end up taking cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner with one of their top-ten picks.
There has been a lot of chatter surrounding the New York Giants and their interest in cornerback Ahmad Gardner. According to Aditi Kinkhabwala, the Giants had dinner with Gardner after his Pro Day, expressing serious interest in drafting the Cincinnati talent. Some league sources feel like Gardner and the Giants could be a perfect marriage in the first round of this year’s draft.
Why Sauce Gardner and the Giants are a perfect marriage
The New York Giants tore down their front office and coaching staff this often and began building from scratch. Head coach Brian Daboll hired new defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale, cementing the Giants with a high-speed, blitz-heavy 3-4 defense. In Martindale’s defense, press-man cornerbacks are a necessity. Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner fits that role perfectly. The Cincinnati cornerback prospect is elite while playing press-man coverage:
Sauce Gardner passing rating allowed in man coverage since 2019
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) March 25, 2022
The primary coverage that Cincinnati utilized was man coverage. Ahmad Gardner excelled in this man-heavy defense. According to Pro Football Focus, Sauce never allowed a touchdown in his three-year collegiate career. He also snagged three interceptions in each of his three NCAA seasons. He also allowed just 6.6 yards per reception in 2021, according to PFF. Gardner has elite length and strength for a cornerback at 6-foot-3, 190 pounds.
The Giants will be strongly considering Sauce Gardner when they are on the clock in April. The Giants’ secondary has lost some talent this offseason with Logan Ryan and Jabrill Peppers both departing. Additionally, a James Bradberry trade seems imminent, which will leave a huge hole at cornerback. The need is there and the scheme fit is perfect. The Giants could plug Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner into their press-man defense and watch him flourish as early as his rookie season.