Whole Nine Sports

Filing Cabinet Friday

Ahmad Gardner
Photo by John Minchillo, AP Photo
Tyler Habursky
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Welcome to the last article of Filing Cabinet Friday for this draft season. It will pick up again shortly after the draft, but this will be the last one for now. This week I’ll be going over 2 more guys that could make an impact somewhere down the road. More often than not, I’ve gone over juniors and seniors who can make an impact in the 2021 NFL Draft. Today, we’ll be going over two guys who may not impact the draft until 2022 or even 2023. Those guys are RB John Emery from LSU and Cincinnati CB Ahmad Gardner. Like every addition to the filing cabinet, these guys have flashed to me in one way or another. Both are oozing with potential and cap off the Filing Cabinet very nicely.

Ahmad Gardner

Ahmad Gardner
Photo by University of Cincinnati Athletics

In 2019 I watched a lot of Cincinnati football live for prospects like Josiah Deguara and Michael Warren II. While both players contributed to the promising Bearcats program, Ahmad Gardner also stood out to me, especially late in the season. Coming out of high school in Detroit, Michigan where he grew up, Ahmad Gardner was a 3 star recruit at cornerback, according to ESPN.com. He committed to Cincinnati after receiving a good amount of offers that included schools like Syracuse and Iowa State.

Despite being only a freshman, the 6’2” 185 pound CB played every Cincinnati game and started 6 of them. During his time as a starter, Gardner totaled 31 tackles, 11 pass breakups, and 3 interceptions. He took 2 of those interceptions back the other way for touchdowns. What intrigued me about Gardner was, of course, his length. On film you can tell this guy is long and wins because of it. Think Cameron Dantzler. Coming out of high school, he reportedly ran a 4.74 which really should not be a concern at this point in time. Having 11 pass breakups and 3 interceptions in only 6 starts is very impressive and just shows how he’s able to use his length to help find the ball. Going into only his sophomore season next year at Cincinnati, Gardner could make an even bigger name for himself.

John Emery

John Emery
Photo by Brett Davis, USA TODAY Sports

As prospects, John Emery and Ahmad Gardner were on opposite sides of the spectrum. Emery was the top ranked RB by ESPN. Emery committed to LSU after receiving offers from pretty much everywhere else. He could’ve played wherever he wanted. Emery played his high school ball in Louisiana, so he decided to stay home with LSU.

What a good year it was to be a Tiger, huh?

The LSU offense led by Joe Burrow and Joe Brady took the nation by storm and spread the ball around to everyone in that offense. Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire really stepped up this past season and now is one of the top backs in this class. Behind Edwards-Helaire, however, there really wasn’t much consistency. Early on in the season the backup guy was Lanard Fournette, Leonard’s brother. After he left the team, Chris Curry and Tyrion Davis-Price shared the workload. Throughout this time, Emery would get touches sparingly, but looked very good with them and was also efficient with them. Going into next season, a lot of people are expecting a huge dip in success for LSU and while last year’s team will never be replicated again, they still have plenty of talented guys. Emery needs to prove he can carve out a role early on in camp and if he does it will be appointment television to watch him run the ball.