NOLA Saints tied to a cornerback in 1st-round of 2022 NFL Mock Draft

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

Even though the 2021 season has yet to be played, it’s never too early to discuss what the New Orleans Saints‘ game plan should be for the 2022 NFL Draft. According to Pro Football Network’s latest mock draft, the Saints are looking to beef up their secondary.

The staff determined the draft order by current Las Vegas odds and that put the Saints at the No. 20 pick where they went with Cincinnati cornerback Ahmad Gardner.

Here’s the analysis that was given:

"With the nickname “Sauce,” you have to have the swagger of a CB1. Ahmad Gardner has enough swagger for an entire CB unit. If he can reign in his aggressive playstyle five yards past the line of scrimmage, he could challenge Elam and Stingley as the best corner in the country. Regardless, the Bearcats star is already in the top five at the position, and he isn’t four or five."

The Saints should have gone with a cornerback in this year’s draft but instead went with Peyton Turner, who plays at a position they didn’t really need to upgrade at. Turner was clearly the Saints attempting to redo the Marcus Davenport selection but they certainly could have waited to take Turner.

The NOLA Saints select Ahmad Gardner in the latest mock draft.

Gardner is entering his third year with the Bearcats and this is going to be a huge year for him. He’s recorded three interceptions in each of his two seasons at Cincinnati and during his freshman season in 2019, he took two of those two picks back the other way for six points.

The Saints will be even more desperate for a quality corner when next year’s draft rolls around, as Marshon Lattimore is entering the final year of his contract and they don’t have the money to keep all of their stars, unfortunately.

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Maybe New Orleans does something crazy this summer and trades for Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard, but even then, they’d still need a cornerback on the other side of the field. Gardner could give them the lockdown corner they’ve been coveting and if he’s available this late in the first round, that’d be an outright steal for the NOLA Saints.