LAS VEGAS — The New York Jets selected Cincinnati cornerback Ahmad Gardner fourth overall in the 2022 NFL Draft. The pick makes Gardner the highest draft selection in Cincinnati history.
Gardner will go down as one of the most decorated and memorable players in program history. Known as "Sauce" to Bearcat fans, Gardner did not allow a single touchdown reception in more than 1,000 snaps over the course of his college career.
In a 2021 interview with WCPO, Gardner spoke about his alter-ego and chain that bears his nickname.
"It’s a brand. It’s a cape. When it’s on, it’s 'Sauce,'" Gardner said. “Sometimes I go out without the chain, thinking, ‘Alright, I’m gonna be Ahmad this time.'"
Gardner doesn’t lack in confidence, something many NFL scouts took note of during the combine and UC's pro day. He tweeted last April, saying, “I will be CB1.”
"It’s no surprise to me. Coming into Cincinnati, I wasn’t thinking I was going to be a top-10 pick," Gardner said during UC's pro day. “I just knew I was going to go to the NFL and be able to accomplish my dreams and goals. It’s a blessing to be in this position.”
Along with his confidence, Gardner said his morals carry him through life. At the NFL Combine, Gardner said he does not smoke or drink "at all." He elaborated during pro day.
“Being from Detroit, everybody does that,” Gardner said. “Being different, that’ll help separate you from the average person. I feel like it did just that.”
The 6-foot-3, 200-pound corner is the first Bearcat selected in the first round of the draft since defensive tackle Bob Bell was drafted by the Detroit Lions in 1971.
All seven rounds of the NFL Draft will air on WCPO.