Skip to main content

NFL Draft Profile: Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner, Cornerback, Cincinnati Bearcats

NFL draft profile scouting report for Cincinnati cornerback, Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner

i
i (1)

#12
Pos: CB
Ht: 6026
Wt: 190
Hands: 0958
Arms: 3348
Wingspan: 7938
40: 4.41
DOB: 8/31/_
Eligible: 2022
Detroit, MI
Martin Luther King High School

Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner
Cincinnati Bearcats


One-Liners

A can’t miss prospect. He has everything you look for in a star cornerback, size, speed, and the best cover skills in the country.

Pros:

He is a big, physical, and an extremely talented cover cornerback. Can play man or zone coverage and his skill is the same, so the scheme doesn’t matter with this player. Can lock down an entire side of the field just by being in the vicinity. He has long arms and is great at using them to jam receivers at the line of scrimmage. Has the speed and athleticism to follow the player he is covering all over the field. Never gave up a touchdown in his whole college career, which is simply incredible. Knows how to use his big frame to easily shed blockers and make tackles. Very aggressive player who plays the run very well and isn’t afraid of contact, so he is a good tackler. He is a very smart player and always understands what the whole defense is doing, so he was always there to assist a teammate who wasn’t sure what to do on a play. This understanding helped him be around the ball by the end of every play, it also helps that he has a relentless motor and has no problem going from sideline to sideline. Great ball skills too, he can track passes and cause turnovers with ease.

Cons:

Being a tall cornerback, he can sometimes play too high and will lose leverage because of it. This is most noticeable on screenplays or tosses to the running back where the ball carrier gets to him quickly. On these types of plays, if the ball carrier is already in his zone when he is shedding a blocker, he has a hard time lowering his center of gravity to make the tackle and can be run through. Can get too confident in his abilities and will be overly aggressive on plays, causing him to get beat on a play. That being said he is great at recovering on a play, as evident by the fact he never gave up a touchdown. 

Summary:

This is the best cornerback prospect to come out of college in years. He has everything you look for in true number one cornerback. He has size, athleticism, physicality, and skill, not to mention his intelligence and field awareness. Scheme doesn’t matter with this player, he's just as good in man as he is zone and that’s actually pretty rare. He is a complete player though and can play the run very well, all on top of being the best cover corner in the draft. Knows how to use his length and is fantastic at jamming receivers at the line of scrimmage. He also knows how to use his in coverage as he can player softer than most and still has the range and ability to break up a pass. Has a tenacious attitude and a relentless motor, which drives him to always be around the ball by the end of the play. It’s amazing how easily he can travel across the field on any given play. This tenacity can get him in trouble though as he can be over aggressive on plays, which causes him to get beat once in a while. Once again though he never gave up a touchdown in his entire college career, which truly can’t be overstated. He is a good tackler but can play too high at times. When a ball carrier gets to his area at the same time he is shedding a block, he has a hard time lowering himself into the right position to make the tackle and will sometimes be run through. Other than that this player really doesn’t have a big weakness, he is already a complete player and is a true can’t miss prospect.

Scroll to Continue

Read More

Background:

Born in Detroit, Michigan to Alisa Gardner. Played his high school career at Martin Luther King High School in Detroit, where he became a consensus three-star recruit. Helped lead his team to a state championship in 2018 and was then named a first-team All-State player. The Detroit News also named him on their yearly All-Detroit team. He quickly became a star at Cincinnati and had a game-changing pick-six versus a very talented UCF. For his efforts, he was named to the Football Writers Association of America Shaun Alexander Freshman All-America Team, First team All-AAC and third-team All-American. He was also named to the 2019 AAC All-Academic Team. His sophomore season saw him earn recognition on five All-America teams as he helped Cincinnati become a top 15 ranked defense nationally. In 2021 he lead the Cincinnati defense in becoming the number one ranked pass defense in the country. For that, he was named a consensus first-team All-American and finalist for the Bednarik and Jim Thorpe Awards. He was also named the consensus AAC Defensive Player of the Year, becoming only the second player to achieve that honor. 


Grades

Current Player Value/Potential Player Value

1st Round

Quotables

“When I’m in my little calm mood, I would say it’s just me being Ahmad. But the Sauce is within me. So I’m always Sauce. But I got to know when to flick the switch up and when to turn it off.” -- Ahmad Gardner on 'Sauce'

03/06/22 -- Cincinnati Bearcats cornerback Ahmad ‘Sauce’ Gardner, widely considered the number one overall cornerback in the 2022 NFL Draft, confirmed that he will run the forty-yard dash in Indianapolis. Whether or not he will do the remainder of testing or positional drills, remains to be seen. When asked if he will do all the testing during his podium media session, Gardner replied, “Yeah, should do.” When pressed further, ‘Sauce’ elaborated on his strategy stating, “I will. I just want to run my forty though, which is what I've been training for the most. After I do that, then we can talk.” The lengthy cover man owns an impressive resume, filled with loads of solid film for NFL scouts to pour over, so regardless of full participation in Indianapolis, Gardner projects to be selected in the top half of the first round. As for a prediction on what he expects to run? He replied, “4.4.” The NFL Combine resumes Sunday at 2:00pm eastern time on NFL Network.