Sauce Gardner, 40 Time, Cincinnati, NY Jets, NFL Draft
Sauce Gardner, Cincinnati Bearcats, New York Jets, Getty Images

New York Jets fans have to be intrigued by what Sauce Gardner did in Indianapolis

With the NFL Scouting Combine in full swing out in the heart of Indiana, New York Jets fans are primarily fixated upon the performances of prospects who are in play for the team with one of its two first-round picks in the 2022 NFL draft (4th and 10th overall).

University of Cincinnati cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner has quickly developed into one of the most popular candidates to be selected by New York with either one of its two first-rounders. Gardner, who did not allow a touchdown in his collegiate career, is considered by many to be the best cornerback prospect in this draft class.

Anyone who has watched Gardner’s film already knew that he possessed an outstanding blend of size and athleticism before he stepped onto the field at Lucas Oil Stadium. But Gardner’s measurements and times in Indy confirmed just how unique of a prospect he really is.

Here are Gardner’s official measurements at the combine:

  • Height: 6026 (6’2¾”)
  • Weight: 190
  • Arm length: 33½”
  • Wingspan: 79⅜”
  • Hand size: 9⅝”

Combine measurements are important considering how often schools tend to inflate the height and weight of their players. Gardner quelled any doubts by confirming his incredible length at the combine, coming close to 6-foot-3 and showing off his 33.5-inch arms.

For reference, an arm length of 33.5 inches ranks at the 97th percentile among cornerbacks measures in the history of the combine.

Okay, so Gardner is lengthy. We knew that.

Here’s where Gardner put himself over the top as a truly never-before-seen prospect: the combination of his aforementioned length and his blazing speed.

While carrying around one of the largest frames you’ll see at the cornerback position, Gardner clocked a jaw-dropping official time of 4.41 seconds in the 40-yard dash.

That time is downright historic for a cornerback of Gardner’s size. According to data from Pro Football Reference’s combine archives, Gardner’s 4.41 time is the fastest ever for a cornerback who stands at least 6-foot-2 with an arm length of at least 33.5 inches and a wingspan of at least 79 inches.

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Could Gardner have just strengthened his case to be the Jets’ selection with the fourth overall pick?

We still have a long way to go until draft day (53 days, to be exact), so it’s too early to make any declarations about how the board may fall, but there is no doubt that Gardner’s combine numbers will have his stock soaring throughout the next few weeks.

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Michael Nania is one of the best analytical New York Jets minds in the world, combining his statistical expertise with game film to add proper context to the data. Nania scrapes every corner, ensuring you know all there is to know about everyone from the QB to the long snapper. Nania's Numbers, Nania's QB Grades, and Nania's All-22 give fans a deeper and more well-rounded dive into the Jets than anyone else can offer. Email: michael.nania[at]jetsxfactor.com - Twitter: @Michael_Nania
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John Bilardello
John Bilardello
6 months ago

Mike, do you have any thoughts on the other CBs? I haven’t read anything about their combine winners and losers.

hh11212
hh11212
6 months ago

Edge and CB or Edge and WR is the way to go for me in top ten. Nania you asked me why Kair Elam over McCreary a while back and I hope the Combine showed why. McCreary was excellent in the drills and I loved him. But Elam at almost 6’2″ and running a 4.39 40 is just an elite athlete and if we believe we can get him late 1st early 2nd instead of Sauce who I love, that may be a good move if it allows them to get a Top WR instead if they feel that is the way to go.

WorthlessWoody
WorthlessWoody
6 months ago

Every CB in the NFL gets smoked without a pass rush. Edge and OT in the 1st or GTFOH.

Joshua Relkin
Joshua Relkin
6 months ago

I’ve seen lot of opinions going either way on other boards/apps, so I’m curious how the community here feels about our picks at four and ten. And I’ve really enjoyed the well written content coming from the team here, so I’m curious where they stand if they are to weigh in.

Personally I think it’s Edge at four if KT or Hutch are available, and if not it’s Ekwonu, and then Neal. And I have a feeling that JD/Saleh are of the same thinking at four.

At ten it’s obviously a lot more interesting. I’ve been high on Sauce for a while and up until now it felt like he would be there at ten – maybe even a “reach” to some. At this point, I’m going to say it’s very doubtful he even lasts until ten.

With the way I perceive JD/Saleh’s philosophy that you build from the trenches and don’t need a Revis at CB combined with what we’ve seen from young QBs paired with a stud WR… I’m thinking that at ten we pretty much have our pick of any WR in the draft and we draft our guy. I really like London at ten with his size, hands, and speed. I think having a WR who has the body control he does to high point the pass does a lot for Zach – saw someone mention that we severely lack a receiver who does this (which I agree) and that a lot of the success at BYU were contested jump balls from Zach that his WR went up and got.

Joshua Relkin
Joshua Relkin
6 months ago
Reply to  Michael Nania

Hey Michael, thanks for the reply and the work you put in. I’m just scratching the surface of the analytics stuff you’re putting out, but I can say I’m a big fan so far.

Obviously a lot of this is speculation before free agency. I do like that you highlighted the proven WR piece versus drafting a guy. I know it feels like commonplace with what we saw with Jefferson in Minnesota and Chase in Cincinnati, but those are the exceptions not the rule.

With that being said, who do you think is a realistic get for us? I don’t think Cooper comes to NY with where we are at for truly contending (and I’m not sure his drama sits well in the locker room). I love the idea of ARob, but can’t help think he might be losing a step and wants to play for a contender. I hope Ridley is alright, but can’t help but feel concerned about the question mark surrounding him. Adams feels like he’s going back to GB. So… who exactly does that leave? Godwin?

WorthlessWoody
WorthlessWoody
6 months ago
Reply to  Michael Nania

OL isn’t off the table with a FA G signing. Fant is an average Jag who filled in nicely and might continue to develop. Becton is an injured and unmotivated player who can not be counted on at the moment. Either way a LT or RT transition in 2023 is a real possibility.

Ignoring OT in rd 1 of 2022 is like begging for you to have no OTs in 2023 when Fants contract is up and Mekhi checks out.

Or we can keep ignoring foundational pieces like OT and Edge and draft S, DT, ILB, CB like we always do. Which gets us….here. Again.

WorthlessWoody
WorthlessWoody
6 months ago
Reply to  Joshua Relkin

My top 4 rn is Aidan, Ikem, Neal, Cross. I don’t think those 3 OTs make it to 10, so unless we can get the top rated pass rusher, it’s likely OT for me at 4. I also think KT is fugazi. How can you have that much talent and not be dominant? I’ll roll the dice on who makes it to 10 out of Ojabo, Jermaine, Cameron … and maybe Walker (not sure if he’s going to be a true edge guy or not and move inside on passing downs)

If all those guys are gone…London and Burks round out the choices for me.

But the Same Old Jets??? Get ready for Hamilton and Stingley to be the picks. Womp, womp.

Josh
Josh
6 months ago
Reply to  WorthlessWoody

Not that I think Hamilton or Stingley are going to be bad pros (I do have a little concern with Stingley, and prefer Sauce as I mentioned), I would be pretty bummed if you’re right and that’s what we draft at 4 & 10.

As much as I have faith and high expectations for our current GM and Coach because I feel like they “get it” and have a shared plan and vision for the team… drafting S and CB with two top ten picks would definitely feel like my most hated phrase of “same old Jets”. It also would feel very off brand for JD and Saleh who constantly talk about building from the trenches, and yet they decide to not fortify those trenches?

Respectfully, I’m hoping that your wrong and we get ourselves a stud Edge rusher. I happen to like KT and don’t believe the smoke that he “took plays off” or is lazy or whatever. Again, I have faith (suddenly typing this out makes me think maybe I have too much faith?) that Saleh can motivate his players to get them running high and to be the best player they can… so I would be very interested to see what he can do with KT.

Only time will tell.

Gary Berman
Gary Berman
6 months ago

Not sure if he’ll be there at 10 but Stingley will. I don’t think they take either. OL and Edge.