Former Jets legend Darrelle Revis heaped praise on rookie cornerback Sauce Gardner, saying he “has the word ‘playmaker’ written all over him.”
Revis made the comments in an interview with ESPN, and was unequivocal in his adoration for the rookie.
“I think he has the potential to carry the torch on to be a great cornerback for the New York Jets,” he told the outlet.
Revis, who joined the Jets as a first round pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, quickly established himself as one of the best defenders in the league — and sees similarities between himself and Gardner.
“It seems like he’s a student of the game, and he’s ready to take any challenge on when it comes to playing at a high level,” the now-retired cornerback said.
Revis played six seasons with the Jets to begin his professional career, before leaving for two seasons, and rejoining New York’s defense for two more seasons in 2015 and 2016.
He retired after one final season with the Chiefs in 2017.
Gardner, meanwhile, was selected by Gang Green with the fourth overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, and has become a staple of the better-than-expected defense this year.
In man coverage, the rookie has allowed just 26 yards (1st in the NFL), one passing touchdown (tied for 1st in the NFL) and two first downs (1st in the NFL), according to Pro Football Focus.
He came up with a clutch interception on Sunday against Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills, which allowed the team to take the lead on the next drive, and ultimately record the biggest win of their season.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) November 6, 2022
They are sitting at a 6–3 record heading into the Week 10 bye.
Gardner is running away with the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year Award, and has built a resumé as arguably been the best cornerback in football this year, despite his relative inexperience in the pros.
“He is a special talent,” head coach Robert Saleh said of Gardner. “We got a good one, and he will continue to get better.”
“I think his ceiling is very high. I think he has all the tangibles,” Revis told ESPN. “I think he has all the potential to continue to grow into a great player.”