New York Jets land CB Ahmad ‘Sauce’ Gardner, WR Garrett Wilson, DE Jermaine Johnson in first spherical of 2022 NFL draft


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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — The extremely speculated Deebo Samuel commerce by no means materialized for the New York Jets, however they nonetheless grew to become one of many greatest tales of the NFL draft by making three first-round picks Thursday.

With two top-10 picks — a franchise first within the common-draft period — the Jets chosen Cincinnati cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner with the fourth decide within the first spherical and adopted six picks later with Ohio State huge receiver Garrett Wilson.

Later, the Jets traded as much as choose Florida State defensive finish Jermaine Johnson II, broadly projected as a top-10 decide. They stopped his fall at No. 26, dealing three draft picks to the Tennessee Titans. They despatched second-, third- and fifth-round picks to Tennessee, receiving the twenty sixth decide and a 3rd rounder in return.

The three first rounders marked the Jets’ greatest draft since they made 4 first-round alternatives in 2000. The Wilson decide suggests the Jets have moved on from the concept of buying and selling for Samuels, the disgruntled San Francisco 49ers huge receiver. They determined to maintain their draft picks and construct by way of the draft.

Gardner will be part of a revamped secondary that features two free-agent additions, cornerback D.J. Reed and security Jordan Whitehead. The secondary was a weak spot final season, because the Jets completed thirtieth in cross protection and managed solely two interceptions from the cornerback place.

With AFC East loaded with quick receivers, together with the Miami Dolphins’ new addition Tyreek Hill, the Jets wished to enhance on the again finish. They have not had a real shutdown nook since Darrelle Revis, a first-round decide in 2007. They made first-round investments in 2010 and 2013 with Kyle Wilson and Dee Milliner, respectively, however neither got here near reaching expectations.

“That is the primary factor I do know — after I take into consideration the Jets, I take into consideration Darrelle Revis,” Gardner instructed reporters. “He was certainly one of my favourite corners within the league. I nonetheless watch him to today.”

Gardner brings a glittering resume to the Jets, an all-American who owns the uncanny distinction of by no means having allowed a landing cross in school. That covers three seasons and greater than 1,000 snaps in protection. He was so feared that he was focused solely twice per recreation final season. For his profession, he completed with 9 interceptions, 27 passes defensed and three sacks.

He additionally has uncommon dimension (6-foot-3) and lengthy arms (33½), traits that may assist in opposition to larger receivers. The one query surrounding Gardner is that he was primarily a press-man nook in school; the Jets run a zone-based protection. Gardner’s nickname will definitely make him widespread amongst New York headline writers. He bought the nickname “Sauce” from a youth coach on the age of 6. The unique model was “A1 Sauce Candy Toes Gardner” due to his affinity for fast-food dipping sauces.

Gardner grew to become solely the third former Cincinnati participant to be picked within the first spherical within the common-draft period, becoming a member of defensive deal with Bob Bell (1971) and quarterback Greg Prepare dinner (1969). The Jets did not get Samuel, however Wilson offers loads of potential — and a Wilson-to-Wilson join, quarterback Zach and Garrett.

Often known as a home-run risk at Ohio State, he averaged 15.1 yards per reception final season – 70 catches for 1,058 yards. Of his 12 touchdowns, six got here on vertical routes, in line with ESPN Stats & Info. The one knock is that he dropped six balls.

Wilson improved his draft inventory with a torrid end, recording six touchdowns and averaging 124 yards per recreation over his last three. He determined to not play within the Rose Bowl. He solidified his NFL standing with a robust scouting mix – 4.38 seconds within the 40-yard sprint.

The number of Wilson, picked with the draft decide the Jets acquired from the Seattle Seahawks for Jamal Adams, was applauded by Jets quarterback Zach Wilson.

Wilson tweeted: “What’s higher than 1 Wilson? 2 Wilsons. Let’s gooooooooo!!!!!!!”

A shade underneath 6-feet tall, at 183 kilos, Garrett Wilson is considerably slender for the place. He joins a receiving corps that’s undersized aside from Corey Davis (6-foot-3). The opposite receivers are Elijah Moore (5-foot-10) and Braxton Berrios (5-foot-9).

The Jets’ main purpose this offseason is to enhance the expertise round second-year quarterback Zach Wilson, who struggled as a rookie. Garrett Wilson turns into the marquee addition. In free company, they signed tight ends C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Conklin and guard Laken Tomlinson.

Damage by an absence of explosive performs, the Jets completed twenty eighth in scoring.

Johnson, coming off a 12-sack season at Florida State, fills the necessity for an edge rusher. The Jets had him rated extremely and regarded him with the tenth decide, sources stated. Johnson, who started his profession at junior school, went to Georgia and transferred to Florida State, the place he performed just one yr.

Nevertheless it was an enormous yr, as he was named ACC Defensive Participant of the Yr. He improved his inventory on the Senior Bowl and continued his ascent on the mix, working the 40 in 4.58 seconds.

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