NY Jets might have one of the biggest draft steals of 2022

New York Jets, Micheal Clemons - Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
New York Jets, Micheal Clemons - Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /

There’s no doubt that the New York Jets needed to upgrade their pass rush in 2022, but there wasn’t really just one right way to go about it. The Jets were getting back Carl Lawson from injury and they managed to get a major steal at the back end of the first round in the 2022 NFL Draft when Florida State’s Jermaine Johnson fell into their laps. As great of a value as Johnson was for Robert Saleh and the New York Jets, he might not have been their best value at the edge position in this year’s draft class.

That distinction might just belong to fourth-round pick Micheal Clemons, an absolute physical marvel coming out of Texas A&M. Clemons was the 117th pick overall by the Jets and he looked more like he could have been the 17th overall pick after his preseason debut against the Eagles. The 6-foot-5, 263-pound rookie with nearly 35-inch arms was making plays all over the place, wrecking the Eagles offensive line in the process.

Micheal Clemons shows massive potential in NY Jets debut

Against the Eagles, Clemons absolutely feasted. Though when he was asked about his debut, he wasn’t impressed. This guy is as intimidating as they come, and it was certainly no easy task even for former first-round pick Andre Dillard going up against this guy when the Eagles took on the Jets in Week 1 of the NFL preseason.

Here’s a look at some of the numbers Clemons racked up:

Those numbers are certainly backed up when you look at this Twitter thread of all the domination from the Jets’ fourth-round pick in this particular game. The Jets have him lined up at a couple of different positions in these clips, coming off the edge and playing on the outside shoulder of the left guard.

There will be ample opportunity this year, even with a rather deep defensive front for the Jets, for Clemons to make his presence felt. If he keeps up the kind of production we saw against the Eagles, how could Saleh possibly let this guy sit on the sideline all year? There’s no way. If Clemons was upset about his performance in the first preseason game, he’s probably thinking along the lines of turning more than one of those seven pressures into a QB hit or a sack.

With his combination of length, explosiveness, and natural athleticism, those sacks could come in bunches. The Jets have themselves a really good one here and a player that could play a huge role for them this season as a rookie. He had 46 pressures last season at Texas A&M and as long as he’s staying on the straight and narrow off the field, this guy is going to be a stud.