Sauce Gardner, New York Jets, NFL draft, Blewett's Blitz
Sauce Gardner, New York Jets, NFL draft, Blewett's Blitz, Jet X Graphic, Getty Images

Sauce Gardner needs to be a realistic option for the New York Jets at No. 4

While we have discussed many “trench” prospects for the New York Jets—in both edge rushers and offensive lineman—the depth chart desperately needs playmakers on both sides of the ball.

And although both Joe Douglas and Robert Saleh are heavily committed to building from the inside-out, the 2022 NFL draft presents a unique opportunity for the organization—especially with the Jets ready to pick fourth and 10th.

Enter Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, who has seemingly grabbed a hold of the CB1 spot in the 2022 NFL draft. And enter Sauce Gardner not only for the Jets to consider at No. 10 but No. 4 as well. 

The full Sauce Gardner film breakdown is free to all readers and available at the bottom of this article. 

Is Gardner worth the hype? Is he a real option for the Jets at the top of the draft? Where does he stack up vs some of the other prospects we have reviewed?

All of this and more is discussed in this edition of Blewett’s Blitz, where over one hour and twenty minutes of Sauce Gardner’s collegiate game film is analyzed. 

Sauce Gardner YouTube film clip and podcast episode

Sauce Gardner’s Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths

  • Overall athleticism
  • Size at 6-foot-3
  • Eats up space pre-snap when in press
  • Fluidity for size
  • Aggressive
  • Plays ball well
  • Thrives in press
  • Awareness
  • Speed
  • Plays shuffle/bail well
  • Length (33+ inch arms)
  • Quickness
  • Willing tackler and fitter in the run game
  • Stays square overall
  • Gets shuffles in while in press
  • Seems to love football
  • Does not rely on the same technique every rep
  • Quick hands
  • Lateral movement
  • Plays both aggressive and soft press
  • Played both sides of the field and some reps in the slot
  • Seems to be a good communicator
  • Patient feet
  • Patient hands
  • Flexible
  • Solid drive on the ball for size
  • Uses sideline well/squeezes
  • Is aware of other threats outside his assignment when playing zone
  • Physical enough to blitz
  • Fight to maintain contact during route stem
  • Eyes low pre-snap
  • Smooth hip transitions
  • Fights to have hands-on during reps
  • Shows reps of alternating hands in coverage

Weaknesses

  • Lanky, light for height
  • Needs work on tackling technique
  • Can be slightly grabby
  • Want to see more knee bend pre-snap
  • Hands can be low/drop
  • Could read/anticipate breaks better
  • Can look back to quarterback too early while not tight in man assignment
  • Zone turn can look into backfield too much and lose track of WR
  • Can work to re-route in cloud assignment
  • Has to be careful shooting two hands from a distance

The full Sauce Gardner film breakdown

Audio Version available to members only: Learn more here

Download Jet X Mobile on the App Store and Google Play.

Want More NY Jets News & Jets X-Factor Content?

Download the free Jet X Mobile App to get customizable notifications directly to your iOS (App Store) or Google/Android (Google Play) device.

Add Jets X-Factor to your Google News feed to stay up to date with the New York Jets.

Follow us on Twitter @jetsxfactor for all the latest New York Jets news, Facebook for even more, Instagram for some of the top NY Jets images, and YouTube for original Jets X-Factor videos.

Join the official Jets Discord community to connect with likeminded fans.

You may know Joe Blewett from his wildly-popular film breakdowns and podcasts on websites including Turn on the Jets and Jet Nation. His ability to analyze film is second to none. From a player on the field in high school (FS/CB/WR/RB) to working with former NFL players including Marcus Coleman and Erik McMillan, as well as many hours of studying, Joe brings a rare level of expertise to his content. Joe is currently hosting Blewett’s Blitz, bringing player and game film breakdowns and podcasts (video and audio). Email: joe.blewett[at]jetsxfactor.com
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
16 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
WorthlessWoody
WorthlessWoody
8 months ago

No thanks. This guy is good, but he’s not top of the draft good. I wouldn’t want him before 15. The only player who was realistically viable for the top 10 was Stingley…and that is only in an alternate universe where he didn’t get injured so much and stayed at his rookie year level of play. He didn’t, so he’s not worth that pick either. Sauce is a damn good player, but not a top 10 player. Passing on edge or tackle or WR for any CB in this class is a mistake. Especially when you can get a very good player at CB in the 2nd round. Sauce filled the Stingley void after his stock crashed. And of course having a snappy nickname made all the Twitter fans excited, so the hype has been climbing well over the value imo.

Jimjets
Jimjets
8 months ago

Players I am happy with at 4 – Travon, Jermaine or Sauce. I’m assuming both top edge are gone by 4. Players I’m happy with at 10 – Wilson, London, Burks. If we take Sauce at 4 we prolly double up on DL in round 2. Edge and IDL and I’m really starting to think that may be a good idea. We’d have 2 lockdown corners and now killer depth.

Jimjets
Jimjets
8 months ago

I think I’d be ok with Sauce at 4. We won’t get him at 10 and ten should be best receiver. If we do it we could – I say could – double down on edge in the second round. Mafe and the kid from Penn State maybe ?

Azuma76
Azuma76
8 months ago

I have been saying for weeks to draft Sauce at 4 for 3 weeks now. He will not drop to 10 I guarentee it! This is the unicorn talent of the draft, not allowing a TD in 3 seasons reminds me of Revis prime run in the NFL. He will not drop to 10

WorthlessWoody
WorthlessWoody
8 months ago
Reply to  Azuma76

Chasing unicorns is what gets you draft disappointments like Leo, Sheldon, Quinnen, Adams and the Louisville Slugger. Fix the team. Unicorns aren’t real. 9x out of 10 you just end up with a good player at an easy to fill position.

Azuma76
Azuma76
8 months ago
Reply to  WorthlessWoody

What do you mean? That would be fixing the team, you added another piece to your CB room which was ok. Taking away one side of the field makes it easier on the DL.

Peter Buell
Peter Buell
8 months ago
Reply to  WorthlessWoody

some reason it wouldn’t let me reply to your Adams trade point.
Guess they are tired of getting fleeced. Bog mouths who get big paydays are satisfied and played thier best ball.

PTS1010
PTS1010
8 months ago

Joe awesome content as always! Definitely some of the most comprehensive film analysis out there… A few questions and comments/observations from a football fan (never played the game).

1. Gardner primarily played a boundary corner role in college. Is there any learning curve for him in an NFL D and specifically if he is drafted by NYJ?

2. Cincinatti did not play elite competition (including Gardner’s matchups vs WRs) throughout his college career. The best competition played was: OSU in 2019, he did not play; UGA in 2020, he did not play (back injury); and BAMA in 2021, #8 Metchie injured ACL in previous game, and he was matched up primarily on #7 Brooks, as you noted (Frosh with 15 career receptions), not #1 Williams (1st rd pick at the time), during the game. You would think an elite player would want to shutdown the oppositions best player (Revis-like mentality) in big games no matter the scheme. Obviously good technique is paramount and his athleticism is off the charts but is he at all overrated based on the non-elite level of comp played when compared to his peers Stingley, Booth, McCreary, McDuffie, etc? Definitely makes it easier to give up 0 TDs…

3. Love that he is an excellent confident press corner! FA signing Reed seems to be as well. We know our D corners last year were young and inexperienced but they and the D as a whole were awful in key 3rd down situations. The secondary seemed to play a lot of off ball coverage in general, be it zone or man, to limited success (the 3rd and 20 vs Tampa conversion on Echols immediately comes to mind). Is this off coverage a fundamental part of the defensive philosophy, specifically at corner? Can/will this be adjusted based on player strengths, since we now have Reed, and hypothetically if we draft Gardner?

Go Jets looking for to this season!

Azuma76
Azuma76
8 months ago
Reply to  PTS1010

If you read he played the slot too

PTS1010
PTS1010
8 months ago
Reply to  Azuma76

According to PFF he played 78/2110 snaps at slot which is 3%. On the other hand he played 1861/2110 at corner which is 88%. Whether or not PFF differentiate this as slot corner vs outside corner is likely debatable. As I said, he primarily played boundary/short side of field corner. I too think he is a great player and would be a worthy pick by the Jets in the first round.

Azuma76
Azuma76
8 months ago
Reply to  PTS1010

Ok then

hh11212
hh11212
8 months ago
Reply to  PTS1010

As you know we dont flip our corners similar to what he did in college. They played a little more man then we did but they were similar in the coverages they ran Man, Cover 2 and Cover 3. He played good players who are or are going to be in the NFL. Although he did not match up with Williams every play he did match up with him more than the film review showed and he did a great job on him.

Level of competition and playing around the formation are certainly a little overblown. The Memphis team he played 2019 had just as many skill position pros as Alabama or OSU. Sauce played across the formation in slot and out wide. Lastly he is a college kid who had another All American across from him so no need for coaches to have him travel on a regular basis.

The kid is special and the film and measurables match. The questions you asked are valid, but easily answered as well.
So simply don’t overthink this one, the kid has the goods!

PTS1010
PTS1010
8 months ago
Reply to  hh11212

Glad to hear from someone more knowledgeable than myself that he fits our defensive unit/scheme/philosophy!

My point about him being possibly overrated a bit maybe overthinking it but either way he will have huge expectations put on him at the next level due to his college success.

He is a definitely a great player and the Jets would be fortunate to have him. I hope he lives up to expectations playing for NYJ or at least another non-division team!

hh11212
hh11212
8 months ago
Reply to  PTS1010

I think your thoughts are awesome. Keep in mind the boundary CB is usually the better CB. They get less safety help especially in single high. So Sauce is used to playing on an island. I like that experience and feel along with his physical attributes give him a good chance to be a high quality player.

Peter Buell
Peter Buell
8 months ago
Reply to  hh11212

despite his combine I still love Hamilton and can get him at 10 now. I don’t want any screwing around with pitting him at linebacker.
He is a tremendous football players and in zone will dominate imo.
Wish we lost that Cincinatti game. Would be picking at 2 and outside chance at Hutchenson.
If he’s not picked 1st, I wonder if the #38 pick would move us up 2 spots?

hh11212
hh11212
8 months ago

Joe, I did my own review of Sauce and his 2021 season was amazing. Loved this breakdown. I loved how you broke down this review. It flew by because his tape is so clean. I agreed with your assessment of each rep except two. This young man should be our pick at 4. No question in my mind.