Mock NFL Draft: Where will the record Bearcats land in the NFL? | Sports

With Pick 10, the New York Jets select Ahmad ‘Sauce’ Gardner, Cornerback.

The University of Cincinnati Bearcats’ 2021 season has been filled with records and history. Even with the next season looming, several Bearcats are still looking to continue making history. From the greatest class of combines Cincinnati has ever sent to the 32 NFL teams coming to watch their pro day, the Bearcats are set to have their first-round pick in more than half a century.

Even so, having a first-round pick isn’t the only success of the 2021 season. Eight Bearcats have made their names known ahead of the 2022 NFL Draft, and soon they’ll all have new homes in the league.

With the draft a month away, The News Record looked at which team would choose a Bearcat and why they might fit well into their new organizations.

With Pick 10, the New York Jets select Ahmad “Sauce” GardnerCornerback

Sauce becomes the first “first-rounder” since 1971, going to the Jets with their second draft pick. As the roster’s first cornerback, Gardner will pass in front of Jets free agent signing cornerback DJ Reed, adding to a pass defense that was down threes a year prior. Moreover, having the 4and overall pick this year, which could be used on someone like Oregon passer Kayvon Thibodeaux, the Jets are looking to begin their young defensive rebuild after being on offense for the past two years.

With Pick 41, the Seattle Seahawks select Desmond Ridder, Quarterback

With Russell Wilson traded to the Denver Broncos and Drew Lock being the best option for Seattle, Ridder will have a real shot at opening the season as a starting quarterback. His ability to run the ball on options will help achieve Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll’s goal of running the ball more frequently and more efficiently. As Seattle looks to the future, they’ll need a QB to lead them in their rebuild, and Ridder falls to their knees at 41.

With Pick 52, Pittsburgh Steelers select Myjai Sanders, Edge Rusher

Look the other way, Bengals fans. This year, Sanders’ draft position is hurt by insane talent at the top position, but his production could reach new heights with Pittsburgh. Opposite last year’s Defensive Player of the Year TJ Watt, Sanders will have a chance to capitalize on his opponents’ extreme fear of Watt and hope to help a Steelers team looking to reload, not rebuild.

With Pick 54, New England Patriots select Coby Bryant, Cornerback

After JC Jackson left for the Chargers, the Patriots desperately need a cornerback to replace him. While Bryant struggled at the start of the year, his second half of 2021 helped him win the 2021 Jim Thorpe Award. That’s why, with an outstanding combine, he found himself riding soared in the second round when it was considered a 4and or 5and round choice just a few months ago. Bryant would have a huge opportunity to help add some youngsters to an otherwise veteran-filled defense.

With Pick 86, Las Vegas Raiders select Darrian Beavers, Linebacker

The Beavers built an impressive resume from the start of the offseason to the draft. Las Vegas, which released linebacker Cory Littleton earlier this offseason, needs someone to fill the job. The Beavers will give the Raiders speed down the middle to deal with players like Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson. He would also add an element of pass coverage the Raiders will need to contain dynamic running backs like the Chargers’ Austin Ekeler and the Broncos’ Javonte Williams, all four of which they’ll face twice a year.

With Pick 103, Kansas City Chiefs select Alec Pierce, Wide Receiver

When Kansas City traded wide star Tyreek Hill to Miami, the entire receiver room was turned upside down. The additions of JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling leave a lack of a jumping ball receiver, a role that Pierce could hopefully help Mahomes. Despite the mix of talents, Pierce will still have to earn his place in camp, but his on-track experience and sneaky speed will help him fit into the already fast-paced and deeply threat-focused offense.

With Pick 123, the Los Angeles Chargers select Bryan Cook, Safety

For Cook, it’s one of the best shots of his career, no matter how it starts. There’s a chance he has to back up Derwin James, allowing him to be framed. There’s also a chance LA may choose not to fill their other security position, allowing Cook to earn a starting job immediately. He could also potentially slip into a different covering role, depending on how the Chargers want to address their lack of linebacking talent.

With Pick 229, Seattle Seahawks select Jerome Ford, Running Back

Ford and Ridder would meet in Seattle, yes. But, the Seahawks’ goal of heading the ball hinges heavily on Chris Carson’s health and whether Rashaad Penny can build on his career-saving escape from last year. If none of those things work, Ford provides a contingency plan and some familiarity for Ridder. At a minimum, Ford is giving Seattle the depth of hindsight they needed over the past two seasons.

The NFL Draft will take place in Las Vegas this year, with Day 1 beginning April 28 at 8 p.m.

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