Both teams have a pair of first-round draft selections:
- Jets: No. 4 and No. 10 overall
- Giants: No. 5 and No. 7 overall
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Some Fascinating Details
According to Vacchiano, both teams have a “strong” interest in Gardner and both teams will be bringing him in for an official top-30 pre-draft visit to their facilities.
On top of that, they were both represented at the Cincinnati Pro Day meeting both publically and privately with him on March 24.
In three years with the Bearcats, Gardner logged 33 games and became one of, if not the best cornerbacks in the country:
- 99 total tackles
- Nine interceptions
- 16 pass deflections
The Giants are planning on trading veteran cornerback James Bradberry, per Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News. If and when that happens, Big Blue’s cards will be on the table, they will desperately need a top-flight cornerback.
A Natural Fit and Stick It to a Rival
This then leads us to a very interesting situation for the green and white.
If they really value Gardner the way it has been shared on social media, then their only chance to get him might be with the No. 4 overall pick.
The Giants are lurking in the shadows with two top-seven picks and with that will have two cracks to land Gardner before the Jets pick comes back around.
If the decision was up to NFL Insider Adam Caplan, he says he knows exactly what he’d be doing if he was running the Jets operation:
“Oh I know what I’m doing, Sauce Gardner, I’m turning that card in. He is the best corner in this draft and I don’t care what Joe Douglas thinks of the corners he has, they don’t have anyone half as good as this kid. He is an absolute superstar. A clean, tall, good prospect out of the University of Cincinnati. The coverage numbers are absurd. You can’t wait until No. 10.”
Everything the Jets have said publicly indicates that it will be a trench player with the No. 4 overall pick. Whether that comes on the offensive or defensive line has been up for debate, but that seems to be where they’re leaning based on conversations around the league.
Hey, you never know in this business because we are firmly in the thick of lying season. This very well could be a dramatic smokescreen in public conversations and they have every intent to take Sauce and make him their new No. 1 cornerback.
There are two sides to this coin for Gang Green. If they take Sauce they’d be locking down the cornerback spot for the foreseeable future and making sure he doesn’t end up with your cross-town rival.
If they decide to pass it seems inevitable that the Giants could pounce and this could forever be one of those what-if kind of stories if he ends up being the superstar some people believe he can be.