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Note: Scroll right for each prospect’s RAS composite and comp. RAS size-adjusted athletic composites provided by Kent Lee Platte. RAS scores should be read as percentiles — ie “5.0” is 50th-percentile. Rankings based out of 125 qualifying draft-eligible FBS cornerbacks in my database.
1. Ahmad Gardner | 6026/193 | Cincinnati
PFF grade: 4
PFF coverage: 5
PFF tackling: 43
PFF run D: 17
Cincinnati knew it had something special right away. In Gardner’s first season, in 2019, he returned two interceptions for TD (three total) and broke up eight passes to earn first-team All-AAC honors. The past two years, as a sophomore and junior, Gardner was a second-and first-team AP All-American, respectively.
Gardner picked off nine balls in college and didn’t allow a single touchdown in coverage. Opponents wised up quick. They stopped throwing at him. After Gardner was targeted 58 times over 320 coverage snaps as a freshman (one every 5.5 snaps), he was targeted only 77 times over 804 coverage snaps the past two years (one every 10.4 snaps).
Last year, over 482 coverage snaps, Gardner allowed only 18 receptions for 122 yards (holding opponents to a 22.6 NFL QB rating when targeted). A coverage ace from the second he stepped on campus (elite 90.2 PFF coverage grade as a freshman), Gardner flowered into an every-phase star last season. He set a new career-high in tackles and run-game stops, while posting three sacks.
Those who say he only dominated inferior competition are telling on themselves. In five…