Sauce Gardner and Garrett Wilson lead the rookie class.
On Tuesday, the Pro Football Writers Association named Gardner the 2022 Rookie of the Year and Defensive Rookie of the Year, while also presenting Wilson with the offensive title.
Gardner, the No. 4 selection in last year’s draft, quickly became a star NFL cornerback after a stellar career in Cincinnati. In his first professional season, he started all 17 games for the Jets, defending an NFL record 20 passes defended. The 22-year-old ranked in the top five among corners in receptions allowed (9), yards allowed (65), passes defended, completion percentage allowed (34.6%) and rate highest coverage rate (76.9%). He was the only rookie named to the PFWA All-NFL team this season.
Wilson, selected six picks behind Gardner of Ohio State, set Jets franchise records for rookies in receptions (83) and receiving yards (1,103). Eight times he racked up at least 75 meters in the air, exceeding the 100-meter mark three times. He added four touchdowns on the season.
“Better days are coming,” Wilson said Monday, via the Jets’ official team website. “We’ve taken a step up from the previous year, and we plan to do the same next year. We know what we were brought here to do and that’s to produce and make a difference, and we’re all very proud to do that and given that we have taken a step forward, we still feel like we could have done something more this season.”
Both Gardner and Wilson are up for the AP Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year awards, which will be presented Feb. 9 at the NFL Honors.