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2022 NFL Draft Odds: Will Ahmad Gardner Be the First Cornerback Selected?

Cornerbacks abound among this year's round one prospects. Which one of them will rise to the top, and who could shock everyone to pay off big at their long odds?
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2022 NFL Draft Odds: Will Ahmad Gardner Be the First Cornerback Selected?

FanDuel Sportsbook features a half-dozen corners with implied probabilities ranging from 1% all the way up to 79%. Most of them are considered no-brainers to at least be selected on the first night of the draft proceedings, and some are almost sure things to go by the middle of the round. The leader in the clubhouse to be the very first pick at his position? That would be Cincinnati's Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner.

After Gardner at his favored odds, LSU's Derek Stingley Jr. is the lead challenger followed by Washington's Trent McDuffie. Clemson's Andrew Booth Jr. holds down another tier of his own, and finally, Florida's Kaiir Elam and UTSA's Tariq Woolen close out the six elite corner candidates.

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2022 NFL Draft - First Corner Back Drafted Odds

-370Ahmad Gardner
+260Derek Stingley Jr.
+1100Trent McDuffie
+5000Andrew Booth Jr.
+10000Kaiir Elam
+10000Tariq Woolen

*Odds Available at FanDuel at Time of Publishing*

Over the course of the last two to three months, Gardner and Stingley have gone back and forth as the leader in the cornerback clubhouse. Stingley was the top guy out of the gate before the narrative shifted in Gardner's favor and against what Stingley did in his final collegiate year -- compared to the year prior.

Now a month away from the big night, will it be the SEC standout, big-bodied prototype or one of the other four players with a top-notch grade?

Most Likely: Ahmad Gardner, Cincinnati (-370) (Bet $370 to win $100)

Gardner isn't going to provide a worthwhile return unless you're dealing out big money. However, it could be worth overlooking since the likelihood of him going above all other corners might just outpace the implied odds. After all, his biggest contender -- Stingley -- has commanded some of the biggest question marks from the draft community and has since fallen off from the top-5 to top-10 pick he was seen as from the start.

While Stingley's consistently projected to go between picks 10 to 12 -- and most commonly 12 to Minnesota -- Gardner's held above that in several mock drafts. At 10, the Jets are a very likely landing spot, but at the same time, the Giants make a ton of sense at seven, as well as the re-tooling Seahawks at nine.

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Given James Bradberry's shortcomings this past season, Gardner could replace what could've been for the Giants, although Adoree Jackson posted a high grade. Gardner could be a great compliment on the other side, but it is actually much harder to see Gardner slipping past Seattle. He and his 6'3" frame mirror the Richard Sherman of old in the days of the Legion of Boom. They also allowed high-performer D.J. Reed to go elsewhere in free agency only to bring back a more fitting slot corner in Artie Burns.

Best Value: Andrew Booth Jr., Clemson (+5000) (Bet $100 to Win $5000)

Booth is really the last among the unquestioned top four names, and there is a ton of separation between him and the next guys -- Elam and Woolen. He hails from an elite program, where he appeared in a national championship and proved himself an All-ACC selection with his on-field play. His counting stats weren't there, yet he's the 27th-ranked prospect on Pro Football Focus' big board.

According to recent mock drafts, Booth possesses a 10% probability of going to the Vikings at the 12th overall pick. He's also someone that could end up with the Eagles at either pick 15 or 19. That is the part that gives the former Clemson Tiger even a longshot at going ahead of the more likely top-12 or so selections. In the event Philadelphia grades Booth above the likes of Gardner and Stingley, it's not out of the realm of possibility for him to slide in front of them when all is said and done. Crazier things have happened, and the big payoff is there to make up for the risk.

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Brett Oswalt has been writing about sports for five years, has covered everything from the NBA to College Football DFS, and previously served as an editor at numberFire. He is a Senior Workforce Planning Analyst at Highmark by day, and an avid sports fan and girl-dad by night. He resides in Pittsburgh, PA with his wife, Marley, daughter, Aria, and goldendoodle, Braun.


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