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2022 NFL mock draft: New York Giants select CB Ahmad Gardner

After going offense tackle with the fifth overall pick, the Giants look to add some defensive help.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 06 Tulsa at Cincinnati Photo by James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The New York Giants are already back on the clock in our 2022 Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft. Our Giants general manager, dornand1, took offensive tackle Evan Neal with New York’s first pick (fifth).

Now, will the Giants turn their focus to the other side of the ball or continue to help Daniel Jones out (or even replace him)? Here’s a reminder as to who has been taken thus far.

POD Community Mock Draft picks so far:

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan
  2. Detroit Lions: Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia
  3. Houston Texans: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon
  4. New York Jets: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
  5. New York Giants: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
  6. Carolina Panthers: Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State

With the seventh pick in the 2022 Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft, the New York Giants have taken Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, the cornerback from Cincinnati.

Here’s dornand1 with an explanation for the pick:

EDGE was certainly in consideration for this pick, as it is another need for the Giants. Had I made the decision to go with EDGE the pick would have either been George Karlaftis or Jermaine Johnson, likely Johnson.

The reason I decided to go with the consensus No. 1 cornerback in this year’s class is for a multitude of reasons. For starters, Sauce is a hell of a player with the size, speed and athletic traits to match. In his time at Cincinnati he never gave up a single touchdown.

Second, the Giants are currently in the midst of trade conversations for their No. 1 corner James Bradberry. It is looking more likely the Giants will trade him to acquire more draft capital as well as to not have such a big salary cap hit. While New York’s secondary is good, if they lose Bradberry without replacing him, they’d surely see a decline.

The last reason I decided to select Sauce over an edge guy is because I found this quote by the Giants' new DC Don “Wink” Martindale:

“I want as many cover corners as you can have, because the game is the passing game now,” Ravens defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale said in a call with season-ticket/PSL holders this summer. “… I think we have one of the best systems around, and like I said, my philosophy is, personally, I’d rather have the corner that can cover than a guy that can rush because I’ll get guys to hit quarterbacks. I think that’s our job as a defensive staff.”

Erik’s thoughts:

As dornand1 points out, Bradberry’s days in New York are all but over, and while Adoree Jackson played well last year, they will likely enter this draft looking for a starting corner. In this class, there are only a few players capable of stepping into a starting role at corner on day one, and Sauce I arguably the best available (he’s the top corner on my personal board). This is right about where I expect him to be selected later this month, so this is a smart pick for both value and need.

If the Giants went edge rusher here, I would have also heavily leaned Johnson over Karlaftis from both a scheme and talent perspective. For me, Johnson is in the top-10 range, while Karalaftis should be drafted closer to the twenties.

You can follow along with every pick + grades in our Community Mock Draft tracker.

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