4 college cornerbacks for Bengals fans to watch in 2021

Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals
Ahmad Gardner #12 of the Cincinnati Bearcats (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Cornerbacks for Bengals to Watch – No. 3: Ahmad Gardner (Cincinnati)

The Bengals could go in a different direction by selecting a corner who plies his trade in-state. Not known for having long corners (only Eli Apple is above 6’1″ on the current roster), it would signal a departure from the norm.

With Lou Anarumo firmly on the hot seat as defensive coordinator there could be future changes and with that could come a scheme change. Cincinnati’s Ahmad Gardner is 6’2″ and has the length to play in a Cover-3 scheme and matchup perfectly against bigger-bodied receivers.

Despite only being a three-star recruit out of Detroit, Gardner had no issue stepping into a prominent role as a freshman in 2019. Playing in 11 games, he racked up six pass deflections to go with three interceptions, two of which he took back to the house for touchdowns. He added three more interceptions last year with Cincinnati unbeaten in conference play.

Gardner would be perfect for defending the more physical receivers that are finding their way into the AFC North; Chase Claypool in Pittsburgh, Donovan Peoples-Jones in Cleveland, and Sammy Watkins in Baltimore all offer unique threats that Gardner’s skill set could work well against.

The Bearcats have one of the stronger cornerback groups in the country with Arquon Bush and Coby Bryant teaming up with Gardner. That should help the third-year junior see plenty of action and give him the opportunity to build on his impressive resume in 2021.

Key Games to Watch in 2021: Indiana on September 18 (vs Ty Fryfogle), UCF on October 16 (vs Jaylon Robinson), SMU on November 20 (vs Reggie Roberson)