4. Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
Corner is a strong position in the 2022 NFL Draft. At least eight corners will go inside the first 50 picks. One of those corners will be Ahmad Gardner, aka “Sauce,” who made a name for himself over the last two seasons. In the first round of the 2021 College Football Playoffs, he’ll be tasked with slowing down Alabama’s Jameson Williams.
Gardner is a long corner, standing at 6-2 with the length that aids him at the line. He’s got great athleticism and speed that shows up when playing the deep ball. He’s a tenacious player who does his best work in zone coverage.
His length and understanding of route concepts disrupt passing windows. Against the run, he’s not afraid to get dirty despite his size. Before wowing at the combine, he has a chance to make some money on Dec. 31, 2021, and beyond.
3. Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia
Linebackers have been getting love lately in the draft, and they’ll get some here. Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean is a lightning rod on the second level who should shine in the playoffs. Whether or not the Bulldogs make the title game shouldn’t stop fans from getting a treat when they see him play.
Dean is on the small side, standing 6-0, weighing 225-pounds, but he plays tough. He’s a downhill backer who uses his quickness to get past blockers. Dean is an instinctive player with a high IQ who understands where he needs to be and beats linemen to their spots.
He shoots gaps on passing downs and does a great job dropping into coverage. Dean is a first-round lock who will make a 4-3 team very happy.