When you share a rookie class with Sauce Gardner, it’s easy to get overlooked. When you share a rookie class with Garrett Wilson too, it’s easy to go unnoticed. But there is one Jets player ready to make a statement, Micheal Clemons. While the big 290-pound defensive lineman may not be a household name now, he soon will be.
Micheal Clemons Is the Hidden Gem For the New York Jets
Impact Rookie Season
The New York Jets like to rotate their defensive line. It keeps players fresh. It also offers players an opportunity to make a statement. The base numbers may not look that impressive, 2.5 sacks, 36 tackles. But if you watched the Jets last year, you would have seen a physical force in the form of Micheal Clemons.
The 290-pound Garland Texas native was a 4th-round pick out of Texas A&M. He instantly became a fan favorite with his snarls at the camera and moody, intense demeanor. He also happened to be pretty good at football too.
Micheal Clemons vs. Ja'Marr Chase on the edge
The 4th-round rookie had a really nice year pic.twitter.com/oMFlGIgZQB
— Michael Nania (@Michael_Nania) January 10, 2023
Not only was Clemons a physical force against the run on the outside, but he was also a highly productive pass rusher. The Jets don’t blitz a lot, in fact, they blitzed the least in the league last year. This defense is based on suffocating coverage on the outside and the four linemen getting home. Clemons may have only registered 2.5 sacks, but he also added 13 pressures. Those pressures came on just 145 snaps, which works out as a pressure every 11 pass-rush snaps. He also didn’t miss a single tackle all season according to PFF. Based on his limited playing time, he was extremely effective.
Jets Micheal Clemons Plan for 2023
The Jet’s edge position is absolutely loaded. Carl Lason and John Franklin-Myers will start, backed up by Jermaine Johnson and Bryce Huff. Add in 2023 first-round pick Will McDonald and you have a bit of a logjam. Which is why Clemons added 20 pounds of muscle this off-season with the intention being for him to play more inside. The Jets have one of the game’s elite defensive tackles in Quinnen Williams, but the depth is questionable. After losing Sheldon Rankins and Nathan Shepherd, the Jets added Quinton Jefferson and Al Woods. But both are on short-term deals, and the Jets are looking for long-term solutions. Enter Micheal Clemons.
The former Texas A&M man didn’t play a lot inside last year. PFF charted him as playing just 12 snaps inside the offensive tackle. But in those 12 snaps, he made numerous impact plays. Now that he’s bulked up to 290, expect to see the Jets rotate him inside more. Not only will that strengthen their depth at defensive tackle, but it will also allow Head Coach Robert Saleh to give Will McDonald valuable edge defensive reps.
Looking forward to seeing more of Micheal Clemons inside pic.twitter.com/1Y8CdlfEQg
— Michael Nania (@Michael_Nania) May 31, 2023
You may not know the name Micheal Clemons right now. But based on what we saw last year, he’s about to become a household name.
Main Photo: Vincent Carchietta – USA Today Sports