The New York Jets had a roller coaster of a 2022 season, resulting in the team missing the playoffs for yet another season.
Despite their shortcomings as a team overall, they did have one incredible bright spot that will look to impact the Jets for years to come.
Sauce Gardner was a three-star recruit coming out of high school.
Gardner didn’t allow a single TD in college and was drafted fourth overall in the NFL Draft.
Sauce was the only rookie selected to first team all-pro defense and is now the favorite for DROY.
What a STORY 🔥 pic.twitter.com/KGCFZnTZuO
— NFL Rookie Watch (@NFLRookieWatxh) January 24, 2023
Sauce Gardner was not only one of the best defensive rookies this past season, but was one of the best defenders in the NFL this season.
The story of Gardner getting to the NFL is remarkable, especially when you consider that he was a three-star high school recruit.
He took that personally, not allowing a single touchdown in college, and only allowed one touchdown in the NFL this season, which happened to come in Week 2.
Gardner also led the league in pass breakups and added two interceptions.
It’s not often that a rookie is a first-team All-Pro, but Gardner was able to do that and is now a near-lock to win the Defensive Rookie of the Year award.
The Jets lucked out with Gardner, who fell to the fourth overall pick in this year’s draft.
Will the team be able to find greater success in 2023?
Their defense looks to be solid again, led by both Gardner and Quinnen Williams, two of the league’s brightest young defenders.
The biggest question mark still lies with the offense, who have not been able to put it together, especially with Zach Wilson under center.
For Gardner’s sake, we sure hope that the Jets can make the postseason if for nothing else than to watch him play in more games.