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The vast majority of the projected top-10 picks in the 2022 NFL draft were bluechip recruits.

Most were All-Americans and several were five-star prospects.

But as is the case in so many ways, Cincinnati's Ahmad "Sauce' Gardner breaks the mold.

After dominating at Cincinnati, Gardner was selected No. 4 overall to the New York Jets. 

Here's what he was rated as a high school prospect coming out of Martin Luther King High School (Detroit, Michigan) in the class of 2019:


Ranking: 3-star prospect; Nation's No. 144 cornerback, No. 33 prospect in Michigan 

Notable: Obviously it's notable that Gardner was not viewed as a top-100 cornerback.

But based on his scholarship offers, most of the nation's college football coaching staffs were also unaware of his immense talent.


Ranking: 3-star prospect; No national ranking, No. 39 prospect in Michigan 

Notable: Rivals was slightly lower on Gardner than 247Sports, but neither had him as a bluechip prospect so it's a moot point.


Ranking: 3-star prospect; Nation's No, 156 cornerback, No. 45 prospect in Michigan 

Notable: ESPN rated Gardner similarly to 247Sports and Rivals, but was the lowest on him.

But again, given that he had a minimal offer sheet, it's clear recruiting services were in line with the thinking of college football coaches at the time. 

Senior season highlights