Houston Texans draft prospect: If Texans trade down Ahmad Gardner could help at CB
If the Houston Texans trade down in the draft, would a cornerback selection help the team?
One player who we’ve not spoken much about this draft season is Cincinnati cornerback Ahmad Gardner who is coming off a season where he and the Bearcats played in the College Football Playoff.
If the Houston Texans don’t keep the third overall pick and make a deal with a team to trade down in the first round of the draft, the defense still needs to be on the table when making a choice because for the Texans to start having success the defense needs major additions to compete in the AFC.
Everyone knows the Texans need help on the EDGE as the two best players at that position from last season are free agents, and the Texans do need improvement when it comes to the pass rush even if those players return.
The defense of the Texans also needs improvement and depth at cornerback and this is where Gardner of Cincinnati joins the conversation when if comes to the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Gardner is the second ranked cornerback on the CBS Sports draft rankings as Derek Stingley Jr. of LSU is the top-rated cornerback according to their rankings, and he’s also the No. 2 overall prospect on their list, with EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux of Oregon as the No. 1 overall prospect.
Gardner in his three seasons at Cincinnati competed in the AAC and in that time with the Bearcats had three intersections in each of his three seasons (nine total interceptions) and in ’19 had two touchdowns on defense.
The cornerback also finished with a combined 18 passes defenses, and his stats for the ’21 season included 28 solo tackles, three sacks, one forced fumble, three interceptions, and four passes defensed.
Against Alabama in the College Football Playoff Gardner had two solo tackles, and when Cincinnati played Notre Dame on Oct. 2 Gardner finished that contest with one solo tackle, and one interception. His other two interceptions this past season were against USF and Murray State.
Houston Texans Draft: What are draft experts saying about Gardner?
In the Bleacher Report draft profile on Ahmad Gardner they wrote the following about his overall skill level before the 2022 NFL Draft:
"“Ahmad Gardner is a rare cornerback who possesses excellent length and athleticism. He is able to excel in man coverage, where he plays with good technique to get hands on receivers and the speed to carry them downfield.”"
The cornerbacks from the ’21 season for the Houston Texans roster were Desmond King II, Tavierre Thomas, Jimmy Moreland, Terrance Mitchell, Tremon Smith and A.J. Moore with King and Moore being unrestricted free agents this offseason.
It is no secret the cornerback depth chart of the Houston Texans will have new names on it compared to the ’21 season, and if the Texans are able to make a trade where they add more draft capital by moving down in the first round it is something they really need to think about.
The Houston Texans could make a trade because there are many ways they could go with this draft, and the more quality draft pick options, the better for the entire roster during this rebuild but GM Nick Caserio, right?
The Texans already have four picks in the Top 100 so that’s a positive, but if another could be added and still have a good first round pick too, there will be quite a discussion with the decision makers of the Houston Texans as to not only who to draft, but where to draft as well.