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Jets CB Sauce Gardner, WR Garrett Wilson Headline ESPN's Under 24 NFL Team

C Joe Tippmann & RB Breece Hall Earn Second-Team Honors; Jets Lead NFL with 4 Selections


ESPN selected Jets All-Pro CB Sauce Gardner and 2022 Offensive Rookie of the Year WR Garrett Wilson to its All-Youngster first team, which features the league's best players 23 years old or younger as of Nov. 28. C Joe Tippmann and RB Breece Hall were named to the second team.

The 44-player roster was constructed by ESPN staff writer and seven-year NFL veteran Matt Bowen and NFL Draft Analyst Matt Miller. The Green & White led all NFL teams with four selections.

Gardner, the 2022 Defensive Rookie of the Year, led the league with 20 pass defenses in his first season. In year 2, Gardner, 23, has 7 pass defense, 1 forced fumble and is the No. 4-ranked CB in the league by coverage grade, according to Pro Football Focus.

"He's 6-foot-3, but Gardner moves like a much smaller defender, with the quickness and lower-body flexibility to change directions instantly," ESPN wrote. "He has the press-coverage traits and length to create on-the-ball production and the backfield vision to play off-coverage in the Jets' zone schemes. Gardner is competitive and aggressive in his technique, and he will challenge receivers. His 19 pass breakups since entering the NFL last season are tied for fifth over that time, and he also has two career picks."

Wilson, 23, broke the Jets franchise rookie records for receptions (83) and receiving yards (1,103) last season and led all first-year players in both categories. For an encore, Wilson has racked up 64 receptions, 695 yards and 3 touchdowns in 11 games.

"He is explosive as a route runner and dynamic with the ball in his hands, and he'll be a WR1 in the NFL for a long time," ESPN said. "He is currently on pace to crack 1,000 yards again despite more uneven QB play."

Hall, 22, missed the final 10 games of his rookie season with a torn ACL, but still managed to lead the Jets with 463 yards and 4 touchdowns on the ground. Back in time for Week 1 this season, Hall has rushed for 569 yards and 2 touchdowns in 11 games.

"Hall, who saw his 2022 rookie season disrupted by an ACL tear, got back onto the field this year and once again looks like a blue-chip running back," ESPN added. "In a struggling offense, he has carried the ball for 569 yards over 11 games, while also adding 38 catches for 320 receiving yards."

Tippmann, the Jets second round selection in April's 2023 NFL Draft (No. 43 overall), has fortified the interior of the Green & White's O-Line in his first season despite playing 4 games at guard and 4 at center. Tippmann has made 8 starts this season and ranks first among rookies in pass-blocking efficiency (98.4), according to Pro Football Focus.

"The Jets have moved Tippmann around, shuffling the 2023 second-rounder between guard and center, but his college tape was most dominant in the middle of the offensive line," ESPN said. "We haven't seen him settle in there yet, but the upside is apparent with his run-block power and poise in the passing game. He has shown flashes with a pass block win rate of 88.1% this season in limited action (436 snaps)."

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