New York Jets cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, who led NFL defenders with 20 passes defensed, is the 2022 Rookie of the Year and the Defensive Rookie of the Year, chosen in voting conducted by the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA).
Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson, who led all NFL rookies and set franchise records with 83 receptions for 1,103 receiving yards, is the 2022 Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Gardner, the fourth overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft out of Cincinnati, started all 17 games for the Jets and posted 20 passes defensed – the most among NFL defenders and the most by a rookie since 2015. He allowed only nine receptions for 65 yards in 130 coverage snaps in man coverage, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. He ranked in the top five among all cornerbacks in least receptions allowed (nine; second), least yards allowed (65; first), most passes defensed (eight; tied for first), completion percentage allowed (34.6 percent; second) and highest coverage success rate (76.9 percent; first) in man coverage. He was the first player since 2000 to record a pass defense in each of his first seven games as a pro, and had three games with three or more passes defensed, including a season-high four in Week 17 at Seattle. Gardner was one of four NFL players to record at least one pass defense in 12 or more games this season. He registered 75 total tackles (three for loss), two interceptions and one quarterback hit. Gardner was selected AFC Defensive Player of the Week in Week 7. He was the only rookie named to the 2022 PFWA All-NFL team, and he also was a PFWA All-AFC selection.
Gardner is the first Jets player selected as the PFWA’s Rookie of the Year and, he is the second Jets player in franchise history to be named Defensive Rookie of the Year (DE Hugh Douglass; 1995).
Wilson, the 10th overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft out of Ohio State, played in all 17 games (12 starts) and set Jets rookie records for receptions (83) and receiving yards (1,103) and scored four touchdowns. He is the first Jets rookie to lead all NFL rookies in receptions and receiving yards since Wesley Walker in 1977. He had at least 75 receiving yards in eight games, the most among all rookies. Wilson is the only Jets rookie to record 100 or more receiving yards (two) in multiple games in the first eight weeks of the season, and he went over the 100-yard mark three times overall. He had a season-high 162 receiving yards, including a season-long 62-yard reception, on eight catches in Week 13 at Minnesota. He caught a season-high nine passes for 89 yards in Week 18 at Miami. Wilson was also one of two rookies to have two touchdown catches in more than one game this season as he had a pair of TDs at Cleveland in Week 2 and against Chicago in Week 13.
Wilson is the first Jets player to be selected Offensive Rookie of the Year by the PFWA.
Seven teams – the Baltimore Ravens, Detroit Lions, Los Angeles Chargers, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans – each had two All-Rookie selections. In all, 20 clubs are represented among the 27 players honored.
The All-Rookie team offense includes the San Francisco 49ers’ Brock Purdy at quarterback, the Atlanta Falcons’ Tyler Allgeier and Seattle’s Kenneth Walker III at running back, the New Orleans Saints’ Chris Olave and Wilson at wide receiver, Tennessee’s Chigoziem Okonkwo at tight end, Baltimore’s Tyler Linderbaum at center, the Chargers’ Zion Johnson and the Las Vegas Raiders’ Dylan Parham at guard and the Chicago Bears’ Braxton Jones and the Dallas Cowboys’ Tyler Smith at tackle.
The All-Rooke defense consists of defensive linemen Jordan Davis (Philadelphia Eagles), Aidan Hutchinson (Detroit Lions), George Karlaftis (Kansas City Chiefs) and Kayvon Thibodeaux (New York Giants), linebackers Devin Lloyd (Jacksonville Jaguars), Malcolm Rodriguez (Detroit) and Quay Walker (Green Bay Packers), Gardner and Seattle’s Tariq Woolen at cornerback and Baltimore’s Kyle Hamilton and the Houston Texans’ Jalen Pitre at safety.
Chargers placekicker Cameron Dicker, Tennessee punter Ryan Stonehouse, Indianapolis Colts kick returner Dallis Flowers, New England punt returner Marcus Jones and Patriots special teamer Brenden Schooler make up the All-Rookie special teams selections.
The PFWA has honored an All-Rookie team every season since 1974.
2022 ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: CB Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, New York Jets
2022 OFFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: WR Garrett Wilson, New York Jets
2022 DEFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: CB Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, New York Jets
2022 PFWA ALL-ROOKIE TEAM
QB – Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers
RB – Tyler Allgeier, Atlanta Falcons; Kenneth Walker III, Seattle Seahawks
WR – Chris Olave, New Orleans Saints; Garrett Wilson, New York Jets
TE – Chigoziem Okonkwo, Tennessee Titans
C – Tyler Linderbaum, Baltimore Ravens
G – Zion Johnson, Los Angeles Chargers; Dylan Parham, Las Vegas Raiders
T – Braxton Jones, Chicago Bears; Tyler Smith, Dallas Cowboys
DL – Jordan Davis, Philadelphia Eagles; Aidan Hutchinson, Detroit Lions; George Karlaftis, Kansas City Chiefs; Kayvon Thibodeaux, New York Giants
LB – Devin Lloyd, Jacksonville Jaguars; Malcolm Rodriguez, Detroit Lions; Quay Walker, Green Bay Packers
CB – Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, New York Jets, Tariq Woolen, Seattle Seahawks
S – Kyle Hamilton, Baltimore Ravens; Jalen Pitre, Houston Texans
PK – Cameron Dicker, Los Angeles Chargers
P – Ryan Stonehouse, Tennessee Titans
KR – Dallis Flowers, Indianapolis Colts
PR – Marcus Jones, New England Patriots
ST – Brenden Schooler, New England Patriots
PFWA NFL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: 1966 – MLB Tommy Nobis, Atlanta Falcons; 1967-74 – no selections; 1975 – RB Mike Thomas, Washington Redskins; 1976 – WR Sammy White, Minnesota Vikings; 1977 – RB Tony Dorsett, Dallas Cowboys; 1978 – RB Earl Campbell, Houston Oilers; 1979 – RB Ottis Anderson, St. Louis Cardinals; 1980 – RB Billy Sims, Detroit Lions; 1981 – RB George Rogers, New Orleans Saints; 1982 – RB Marcus Allen, Los Angeles Raiders; 1983 – RB Eric Dickerson, Los Angeles Rams; 1984 – WR/KR Louis Lipps, Pittsburgh Steelers; 1985 – WR Eddie Brown, Cincinnati Bengals; 1986 – RB Rueben Mayes, New Orleans Saints; 1987 – ILB Shane Conlan, Buffalo Bills; 1988 – RB John Stephens, New England Patriots; 1990 – S Mark Carrier, Chicago Bears; 1991 – OLB Mike Croel, Denver Broncos; 1992-2012 – no selections; 2013 – RB Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers; 2014 – WR Odell Beckham, Jr., New York Giants; 2015 – RB Todd Gurley, St. Louis Rams; 2016 – RB Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys; 2017 – RB Kareem Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs; 2018 – QB Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns; 2019 – DE Nick Bosa, San Francisco 49ers; 2020 – QB Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers; 2021 – LB Micah Parsons, Dallas Cowboys; 2022 – CB Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, New York Jets.
PFWA NFL OFFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: 1992 — PK Jason Hanson, Detroit Lions; 1993 — RB Jerome Bettis, Los Angeles Rams; 1994 — RB Marshall Faulk, Indianapolis Colts; 1995 — RB Curtis Martin, New England Patriots; 1996 — RB Eddie George, Houston Oilers; 1997 — RB Warrick Dunn, Tampa Bay Buccaneers; 1998 — WR Randy Moss, Minnesota Vikings; 1999 — RB Edgerrin James, Indianapolis Colts; 2000 — RB Mike Anderson, Denver Broncos; 2001 — RB Anthony Thomas, Chicago Bears; 2002 — RB Clinton Portis, Denver Broncos; 2003 — WR Anquan Boldin, Arizona Cardinals; 2004 — QB Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers; 2005 — RB Cadillac Williams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers; 2006 — QB Vince Young, Tennessee Titans; 2007 — RB Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings; 2008 — QB Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons; 2009 — WR Percy Harvin, Minnesota Vikings; 2010 — QB Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams; 2011 — QB Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers; 2012 — QB Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins; 2013 — WR Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers; 2014 — WR Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants; 2015 — RB Todd Gurley, St. Louis Rams; 2016 — RB Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys; 2017 — RB Kareem Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs & RB Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints; 2018 — RB Saquon Barkley, New York Giants; 2019 — RB Josh Jacobs, Oakland Raiders; 2020 – QB Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers; 2021 – WR Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals; 2022 – WR Garrett Wilson, New York Jets.
PFWA NFL DEFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: 1992 — CB/PR Dale Carter, Kansas City Chiefs; 1993 — DT Dana Stubblefield, San Francisco 49ers; 1994 — DT Tim Bowens, Miami Dolphins; 1995 — DE Hugh Douglas, New York Jets; 1996 — DE Simeon Rice, Arizona Cardinals; 1997 — LB Peter Boulware, Baltimore Ravens; 1998 — CB Charles Woodson, Oakland Raiders; 1999 — DE Jevon Kearse, Tennessee Titans; 2000 — LB Brian Urlacher, Chicago Bears; 2001 — LB Kendrell Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers; 2002 — DE Julius Peppers, Carolina Panthers; 2003 — LB Terrell Suggs, Baltimore Ravens; 2004 — CB Dunta Robinson, Houston Texans; 2005 — LB Shawne Merriman, San Diego Chargers; 2006 — LB DeMeco Ryans, Houston Texans; 2007 — LB Patrick Willis, San Francisco 49ers; 2008 — LB Jerod Mayo, New England Patriots; 2009 — LB Brian Cushing, Houston Texans; 2010 — DT Ndamukong Suh, Detroit Lions; 2011 — OLB Aldon Smith, San Francisco 49ers; 2012 — LB Luke Kuechly, Carolina Panthers; 2013 — LB Kiko Alonso, Buffalo Bills; 2014 — DT Aaron Donald, St. Louis Rams; 2015 — CB Marcus Peters, Kansas City Chiefs; 2016 — DE Joey Bosa, San Diego Chargers; 2017 — CB Marshon Lattimore, New Orleans Saints; 2018 — LB Darius Leonard, Indianapolis Colts; 2019 — DE Nick Bosa, San Francisco 49ers; 2020 — DE Chase Young, Washington Football Team; 2021 – LB Micah Parsons, Dallas Cowboys; 2022 – CB Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, New York Jets.