Jets CB Sauce Gardner has been named the Pro Football Writers of America NFL Rookie of the Year and the Defensive Rookie of the Year, and WR Garrett Wilson was selected as the Offensive Rookie of the Year. The pair were also named to the PFWA All-Rookie team.
The a strong award season for Gardner who has continued to gather accolades. The No. 4 selection from Cincinnati in last year's draft was earlier selected as a Pro Bowler, a Pro Football Focus All-Pro first-teamer and an Associated Press NFL first-team All-Pro – the first rookie CB named to the AP first team since Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott in 1981.
Gardner led the league with 20 pass defenses and had 3 TFLs, 75 tackles and 2 interceptions. His 90.2 PFF coverage grade rated as the best single-season mark PFF has given to a full-time outside CB in the past 17 years and the best by a rookie that played at least 550 coverage snaps.
Wilson, the No. 10 selection from Ohio State, led all rookies with 83 receptions for 1,103 receiving yards – both also rookie franchise records. Wilson's 8 games with at least 75 yards paced all rookies.
Wilson had 3 games with 100-plus yards receiving including a 102-yard, 2-touchdown performance against Cleveland in Week 2 and a 162-yard effort against Minnesota in Week 13. Wilson's performances also earned him a nomination for Pepsi Zero Sugar NFL Rookie for the Year beside Gardner.
are expected to be among the front runners for the AP's Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year awards. The winner of the PFWA NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year has gone on to win the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year 13 of the last 15 years. The winner of the PFWA NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year has gone on to win the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year 11 of the last 14 years.