There was little the New York Jets have longed for that they didn't address in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Included among their largest wants was a top-tier cornerback.
Reed, who projects to start opposite Gardner at cornerback, and Jordan Whitehead were free-agent additions looked at to bolster a Jets secondary that was part of a Gang Green defense last in points and yards allowed in 2021, but Gardner is certainly the crown jewel of the new-look back end.
During a decorated college career at Cincinnati, Gardner never allowed a receiving touchdown in coverage, according to Pro Football Focus. The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder is seemingly a complete package of size, speed and skill.
"He did it in college, and I believe he can do it at the NFL," said Reed, who began his career with the San Francisco 49ers and was a starter for the Seattle Seahawks the last two years. "He's prototypical, he has elite characteristics, and he plays with great eye discipline. He can catch, too. He makes great plays on the ball and it's just an overall complete cornerback in my opinion. I'm looking forward to balling with him."
Months still lie ahead before Gardner is set to make his NFL debut, so the validity of any hype and just how well his skills translate from college to the pros remain to be determined. Nonetheless, he's already garnering some lofty praise from a veteran starter in the league and continues to build anticipation for what lies ahead for the Jets.