1c. First Round via IND: Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
When your nickname is “Sauce,” you had better back yourself up. Ahmad Gardner does that. Moreover, he is one of the reasons Cincinnati is even in the college football playoff, a move that has PW5 die-hards looking sideways. However, if they would open their eyes and see the tape, they would be amazed at what they saw.
6’2″ and 188 lbs. Almost the same as one Richard Sherman, although Sherman was about an inch taller when he came out of Stanford. Moreover, when it comes to Gardner, his main strength is his ability to get physical with receivers and do so without getting penalized. His best work is evidenced by his press coverage.
Gardner started as a true freshman when he first arrived. More often than not, that does not happen unless you prove yourself to be intelligent and gifted enough to jump the depth chart. Additionally, he is not afraid to attack the run game. Those who watch and learn football in the modern era often see corners focused on making the big picks, which is good, but it deviates from primary responsibility. Tackle the opposition.
Despite his tall frame, Gardner has the speed to stay on the outside instead of shifting to the back end and play safety. Moreover, it would behoove the Eagles not to plug Garnder on the opposite of Darius Slay and be assured that the opposition will think twice before looking to throw the football.
In Round 2, the Eagles once again look in the back end and address it with a player that was an integral part of a college football program, finally getting the respect it deserved.