Texans may not have a shot at Ahmad Gardner at No. 3 overall

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One cornerback that has been strongly linked to the Houston Texans throughout the draft process has been former Cincinnati Bearcats standout Ahmad Gardner.

Coach Lovie Smith met with Gardner after his pro day. The Texans brought in Gardner for a visit. It only makes sense Houston would add a shutdown cornerback as a key figure in their retooled secondary.

However, NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah doesn’t think Gardner will be there for the taking at No. 3 overall — if his forthcoming rankings are to be believed.

Jeremiah took part in a conference call Thursday and commented that the New York Jets had to draft Gardner if he were available at No. 4 overall in Round 1.

“For me in my updated list that’ll come out next week, I moved Sauce Gardner from No. 3 to No. 2 for me,” Jeremiah said. “Aidan Hutchinson is one. I don’t think you’ll see him. For me personally Sauce Gardner if he’s there at No. 4 I’d turn the card in and get myself a real difference maker, and then you come back at 10 and if there’s a Jermaine Johnson there, that’s an opportunity for you.”

Jeremiah’s plan for the Jets parallels with the Texans’ own plans to bolster their defense. Take Gardner with the No. 3 overall selection, and then find a dominant edge rusher with the No. 13 overall pick.

The Jacksonville Jaguars have the No. 1 overall pick. The Detroit Lions pick No. 2 overall. If the Lions believe they need Gardner to help their secondary, then Houston may have to look elsewhere for cornerback help, or go with another position group entirely.