The Baltimore Ravens get major secondary reinforcements by picking Cincinnati corner Ahmad Gardner in a recent mock draft.
Pro Football Focus’ Austin Gayle revealed his new two-round 2022 mock draft where he had top prospects Aidan Hutchinson and Kayvon Thibodeaux going No. 1 and No. 2 overall — not too much surprise there.
For the Ravens, Gayle drafted Ahmad Gardner with the 14th pick, automatically boosting Baltimore’s defensive backfield.
"“A physical, uber-talented cover corner, Cincinnati’s Ahmad Gardner had one of the most impressive seasons we’ve ever seen for a college cornerback. He played 448 coverage snaps and allowed receptions on just 17-of-36 targets for 117 yards and zero touchdowns.”"
Heading into April, the Ravens will need help in nearly every position group, but especially in the offensive and defensive lines.
With Marcus Peters returning from injury, cornerback may not be the most pressing need but the team could always use the depth.
The Ravens drafted cornerback Ahmad Gardner in the first round of this 2022 mock draft
According to The Draft Network, Gardner is a starting-caliber outside corner who works best in zone coverage.
Since joining Cincinnati, Gardner has developed into one of the best corners in college football and has recorded steady production throughout his three years. His “length” and “quickness” allow him to make big plays and he has “excellent coverage instincts” in both man and zone coverage.
Paired with Peters and Marlon Humphrey, Gardner would likely become a significant contributor in year one or year two at the latest, and immediately elevate the Ravens’ pass defense.
Between Gardner and center prospect Tyler Linderbaum, who was still on the board in PFF’s mock draft, it’s difficult to say which player would help the Ravens most.
Assuming Bradley Bozeman walks, Linderbaum might have the slight edge in value, but Baltimore wouldn’t be wasting a pick on a promising cornerback like Gardner, either.
If the Ravens decide to strengthen their cornerback room early in the draft, Gardner is one of the best first-round talents the team will find in 2022.