Ahmad Gardner’s best consensus landing spots


In contention for the top cornerback rankings, Ahmad Gardner has been widely considered a potential first pick in most 2022 NFL fictional drafts. Gardner is a University of Cincinnati cornerback. And as famous as he became because of his nickname ‘Sauce’, his play on the pitch has made him a household name. As the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine culminates, has he retained his top cornerback spot in recent mock drafts?

Note: If you’re looking for a full one-round fictional draft with analysis for all 32 first-round selections, head over to our latest simulation released on March 4, 2022, where Garrett Wilson and Malik Willis headline the middle of the combine harvester. indulgences.

NFL Mock Draft 2022: The PFN’s Consensus Best Landing Spots

It’s fair to say that Sauce has a lot to do with his nickname and his prowess on a college football field. After not allowing a touchdown in three seasons at Cincinnati, Gardner also limited receivers to no receptions more than 13 yards in his coverage during a fabulous 2021 season.

In a recent mock draft by PFN draft analyst Oliver Hodgkinson, Gardner was selected 12th overall by the Minnesota Vikings. This selection saw Gardner off the board as the third cornerback was drafted. Hodgkinson wrote, “The selection of Ahmad Gardner in this mock 2022 NFL Draft gives the Vikings a ball-peddling point guard who adds a physical and explosive presence against the run and as a blitzer.”

NFL senior analyst Dalton Miller put Gardner a bit higher. In a mock draft released March 2, Miller tied Gardner to the Atlanta Falcons as the No. 8 pick and second cornerback on the board. Miller talked about a potential Gardner-like plan with the Falcons. “Dean Pees handled a ton of zone coverage in 2021, and that’s where Gardner will fit best at the NFL level. He has the fluidity and athleticism to play men’s cover in the pros. But his length and ball qualities give him the opportunity to play and see the ball more often.

A first round mock draft by the February 28 Pro Football Network Mock Draft Simulator had Gardner in a common spot. MDS had Gardner again at 12 against the Vikings. “Gardner is sticky in his coverage but also has an advantage in defending the run advantage.”

Where does Ahmad ‘Sauce’ Gardner land on other drawing boards?

Outside of Pro Football Network’s fictional draft circles, Gardner has also received plenty of praise. ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. once again placed Sauce at the Falcons as the No. 8 pick.

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Kiper’s fictional draft is the fact that Gardner was the first cornerback on the board. “Why Gardner over Derek Stingley Jr.? NFL scouts just haven’t seen Stingley play at his 2019 level in the past two seasons. He’s got a high cap, but he’s only played three games in 2021 and was average in 2020… Gardner is a safer prospect at this point.

Kiper’s colleague Todd McShay selected Gardner the highest and also CB1 in his last mock NFL Draft in 2022. McShay sent Sauce to the Carolina Panthers as the No. 6 pick.

“So I ended up picking the best available, and that’s absolutely Gardner. I mean, he gave up all 60 yards in 14 games last season. He’s a real stopper cornerback. And yeah, the Panthers took Jaycee Horn to 8th overall last season, but this duo would be one of the best young tandems in the league.

Will Gardner’s draft stock change after his NFL Combine performance?

If there’s one thing that’s important to note about the Combine, it’s the fact that a prospect’s match tape should largely dominate their field workouts. For Gardner, his strip on the court is just that: dominant. Gardner locked receivers in his cover for three seasons and played the role against a number of top opponents during his time as Bearcat.

Gardner is tall and has an incredibly long frame. If anything, Gardner’s draft stock would need to be solidified or even improved if it were to sound half as impressive as it does on tape.

Looking for a full 2022 NFL Draft in one round?

With impressive times in the 40-yard sprint at the NFL Combine mixed with less-than-impressive accuracy, we scoffed the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft for fun. Here’s our first mid-combined round of a mock 2022 NFL Draft.


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