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Sauce Gardner, Garrett Wilson Earn Top-10 Spots on PFF's Top 25 Under 25 List

No. 4 Overall Pick in 2022 Named All-Pro Each of First Two Seasons; No. 10 Pick First Green & White Player With 1,000 Yards in First 2 Seasons


Jets CB Sauce Gardner and WR Garrett Wilson cracked Pro Football Focus' list of its top 25 players under 25 years old.

Gardner, No. 2 on the list, has been a Pro Bowler and All-Pro in each of his first two seasons since he was drafted No. 4 overall in 2022 out of Cincinnati.

"Gardner, 23, already has a case as the best cornerback in the NFL," PFF wrote. "His 91.2 PFF overall grade over the past two seasons leads all players at the position, while his 2,163 regular-season snaps rank third among cornerbacks. Gardner's 0.52 receiving yards allowed per coverage snap figure not only leads the position, but the gap between him and second place is the same size as the gap between second and 15th."

After he led the NFL with 20 pass defenses as a rookie, Gardner started 16 games in the 2023 season and totaled 11 pass defenses, 3 tackles for loss and was PFF's No. 3-rated cornerback (88.6). He received the top coverage grade at his position (90.8). In 583 coverage snaps this past season, he allowed 31 completions for 251 yards (0.4 yards allowed per coverage snap). He became the only CB since 2006, when PFF started tracking data, to allow 251 or fewer yards, be targeted 51 or fewer times and play at least 1,000 defensive snaps.

Six spots after Gardner was selected, the Jets took Wilson at No. 10 overall. He is No. 9 on the list. They won Defensive and Offensive Rookie of the Year, respectively, as the Jets became the third team in NFL history to have the DROY and OROY on the same team (1967 Lions, 2017 Saints).

"Wilson had a quieter Year 2 in which he earned a lower PFF grade than in his rookie campaign, but the Jets' quarterback situation after Aaron Rodgers' early season-ending injury didn't help matters," PFF wrote. "Still, Wilson ranks 19th among wide receivers over the past two seasons in PFF overall grade (81.3)."

The Ohio State product is the first player in Jets franchise history to have at least 1,000 receiving yards in each of his first two seasons with the Green & White. He had 95 receptions, 1,042 yards and 3 touchdowns in the 2023 season after an 83-catch, 1,103-yard, 4-touchdown rookie campaign. Wilson had 62% of the team's WR receptions last season and 61% of the receiving yardage. Those are the largest percentages for one Jets WR in a season in at least the last quarter century.

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