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Why Micheal Clemons Will Be Elite Pass Rusher With Jets

This former Jets scout evaluates fourth-round pick Micheal Clemons, praising his ability to rush the passer.

Micheal Clemons is the best pass rusher on the Jets roster.

That’s what I walked away thinking after I studied his game film at Texas A&M.

Jets’ General Manager Joe Douglas scored big in the fourth round on this one.

Clemons was tenacious as a pass rusher last season and he put on a clinic against LSU.

How in the world could somebody as talented as Clemons last until the fourth round?

Not everything is about the game film.

Information gathering is a part of the evaluation process too and Clemons had some real red flags off the field.

According to past reports, Clemons was arrested. Charges included unlawful carrying a weapon, failure to identify/giving false information, less than two ounces of marijuana possession, and driving with an invalid license.

None of that stopped the Jets who felt comfortable taking Clemons.

“We feel the talent level is obviously high,” Douglas said, per SNY. “What he brings from a length, toughness, and speed off the edge, certainly you can say he’s a first, second-day talent level. You get to a certain point in the draft where risk is mitigated. Felt good about that and where we added him.”

So while there are off-field issues that were taken into consideration, I agree with Douglas. I would have done the same thing if a player of Clemons’ caliber was still sitting on the board in the fourth-round.

Clemons was way better than Jets’ first-round pick Jermaine Johnson on game film.

If you ask me, Clemons should have been the one who went in the first round and Johnson should have gone in the fourth round.

Clemons was fun to watch and he was consistently a menace pressuring quarterbacks. I hardly had room in my notes for as many pressures as he had in just three games (46 pressures over 10 games in 2021).

Now the Jets just have to keep their fingers crossed that Clemons “stays out of the newspapers and doesn’t go where he’s not wanted,” which is what Bill Parcells said at the end of practice back when he was the head coach of the Jets.

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New York has to hope that whole off-field situation was just a “one-off,” and a night of bad decisions. That may be a little too optimistic as most often behaviors tend to resurface, but the Jets had to try.

New York’s pass-rush last season was pitiful, and they only averaged 1.9 sacks per game (No. 25).

If the Jets’ defense can’t get to the QB, they do not stand a chance in today’s NFL. While John Franklin-Myers is decent, I would not hold my breath on Johnson, Jacob Martin or Carl Lawson.

If he can stay out of trouble, Clemons is going to lead this team in sacks as a 25-year old rookie.

Grading Micheal Clemons

6-foot-5, 270 pounds

2021 Texas A&M game film reviewed: Arkansas, LSU and Alabama

2021 stats: 32 tackles (23 solo), 11 tackles for loss, 7.0 sacks, 2 passes defensed

Grade: A - (Blue-chip player and elite)

Scouting Report

Tenacious bullish human battering ram with natural brute power, good technique and he is QB minded. Mean and nasty disposition. Flip flops back and forth from left to right side and can line up with his hand in the dirt or standing up. Consistently wants to get to the passer. No frills power rusher who did not show any moves except spin back to the inside. Uses hands well at the point and combines strength to create needed separation. Never quits. Ball of energy. Can get hung out to dry on the perimeter but it takes a strong effort to stop him. Otherwise, just keeps coming and gets pressures that way too. Powerful human being. Ran over the LSU LT. Can stunt and push through inside gaps. Lacks top speed to consistently blow through the back door. Works to make tackles against the run. Occasionally comes off a block, chases one down or can blow things up on a stop for a loss. However, proved to be far less impactful vs. the run than the pass. Big pressure guy.

Bottom Line

Clemons has the mentality it takes to be elite. He is tough as a hammer and he thrives off the physicality of playing in the trenches.

He smashes around inside like cars getting into accidents.

Clemons does somethings most ends cannot do.

I can’t say enough good things about Clemons. I recognize greatness when I see it. 


Follow Daniel Kelly on Twitter (@danielkellybook). Be sure to bookmark Jets Country and check back daily for news, analysis and more.