The Cincinnati Bengals are on a downward spiral after two straight losses and with their 5-4 record, they’d have the No. 16 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft if the season ended today. Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports has them landing lockdown corner Ahmad Gardner with the 16th overall pick, which would elate the entire city of Cincinnati.
Here’s what Trapasso said about his decision to have the Bengals go with Gardner:
"Gardner is a physical, in-your-face cornerback who would be a welcomed, youthful addition to the Cincinnati defensive backfield."
This pick would hit in Cincinnati for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the Bengals have a strong need at cornerback, and the need will be even stronger when they likely part ways with Trae Waynes this offseason.
Chidobe Awuzie has been great but he’s about the only reliable corner the team has as of now. Vernon Hargreaves and Tre Flowers are recent additions to the team but we don’t know enough about either of them yet.
Another reason this pick would go over well in the Queen City is that Gardner has spent his collegiate career roughly 10 minutes from where the Bengals play their home games. He’s been one of the best corners in the league in recent years and this year has tallied 24 tackles (1.5 for loss), two interceptions, two passes defended, and one sack through nine games.
Ahmad Gardner would be a perfect fit for Cincinnati Bengals
As mentioned, Cincinnati will have a huge need for a cornerback this offseason. Waynes hasn’t panned out and while there are other needs on this team, it’ll be hard to truly contend if the secondary gives up multiple chunk plays every week.
Gardner would be the perfect compliment to Awuzie and could give the Bengals one of the best secondaries in the league. While fans are hoping Cincinnati makes the playoffs in the 2021 season, getting the chance to select Gardner would be a nice consolation prize.