Cincinnati Bearcats, CB, Ahmad Gardner
Ahmad Gardner Player Profile
Ahmad Gardner scouting report: As the 2021 NCAA football season approaches, some of us are beginning to look ahead to the 2022 NFL Draft. We wonder who will stand out and set themselves apart this coming season as top NFL prospects? As you read articles, or hear sportscasters call out names, one that keeps coming up is LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. Many scouts have him as the best overall player at this way too early portion of the year. However, I would like to draw attention to a different cornerback today. One whom has won me over with his growth, impressive stats, game film, and overall humbleness.
How can a man who is nicknamed “Sauce” be humble? This is a thought I find myself pondering. Well he just is. He constantly turns attention back to his coaches and teammates in interviews, while also regularly mentioning that he needs to continue to work. Well, Ahmad Gardner has been working and that work is paying off in a big way. Gardner was a two way athlete in high school playing both cornerback and wide receiver for Martin Luther King High in Detroit, Michigan. Although he helped lead his team to Division III glory in the state, he was only a 3 star prospect.
Gardner had many choices as to where he would attend college, but he chose the up and coming Cincinnati Bearcats. He stood 6’2″ and weighed only 163 pounds before joining the Bearcats. Over the past couple seasons he has filled out his frame and now weighs in at almost 190 pounds. Giving him the prototypical size most coaches want to see in an NFL corner.
Ahmad Gardner Collegiate Career
Ahmad found himself buried on the depth chart as a freshman as most freshman do. However after studying the game, he found himself getting more and more playing time and after a couple of pick sixes the coaching staff inserted him into the starting lineup. “Sauce” has not disappointed in any way. He has been named first team ALL-AAC both seasons and earned an honorable mention for NCAA All-Freshman team. Check him out his school profile here. As a freshman, he merely finished as PFF’s number 6 overall cornerback and recorded three INT’s, two of which he returned for touchdowns. Check out some highlights here!
Ahmad Gardner Strengths
Anthony Treash of PFF Says “Gardner has developed into one of the best press-man coverage corners in college football over the last few years. The 6-foot-2, 188-pound cornerback has seen 84 targets in press coverage since landing in Cincinnati, and he has allowed just 16 first downs while making a whopping 22 plays on the ball, the most in the FBS over that time. He has yet to allow a touchdown in his college career, with opposing quarterbacks netting a 35.3 passer rating on throws into his primary coverage.” Read his full take here.
“Throwing the ball in the grass every play would generate a passer rating of 39.6.” I mean what can we even add to that statement? The opposing team would be better to just purposely throw incompletions rather than throwing his way!
Ahmad Gardner moves with quick hips and has great field vision. He can blanket the oppositions top receiver and make a play on the ball. As a cornerback he does almost everything better than good. His size checks the NFL Draft scouts boxes as does his athleticism. As I pointed out before, he excels in press man but can also play of man, and zone. Coaches will love him on Sundays.
He has the measurables, he has the instincts, he has the work ethic! The few weakness anyone can find are all correctable and based on his improvement from game to game and season to season it isn’t far fetched to think he can improve in those areas as well. One question I have is whether he can play in zone? Coach Fickell likes to run a lot of press man coverage. Some say he isn’t fast enough and can get beat over the top, but I haven’t seen that. He has never even given up a touchdown so….
Final Thoughts on Ahmad Gardner Scouting Report
It wouldn’t be surprising to see Gardner climb the ranks this season with another impressive showing. Will teams take him over Stingley in the 2022 NFL Draft? Probably not, but Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner has already established himself as on of the top NFL prospects and could very well be the number two corner this coming draft. He is definitely one of my favorite players to watch and a pretty good bet to win AAC defensive player of the year. If you find a few moments go watch his his highlights. You’ll be impressed too.
Analyst for the Ahmad Gardner NFL Draft Scouting Report- Ken Noble